PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lori Sitler
Phone: (302) 577-8314
Pager: (302) 247-1132
Date: April 19, 2004
BRADY LEADS NATIONAL AG GROUP IN SUPPORT OF FEDERAL
AMENDMENT FOR RIGHTS FOR CRIME VICTIMS
(Wilmington, DE): Attorney General M. Jane Brady and Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar have submitted a letter on behalf of 48 state Attorneys General urging the U.S. Congress to pass S.J.Res.1, a resolution which proposes an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to protect the rights of victims of crime.
“Victims of crime deserve the same level of legal protection as criminal defendants. This Constitutional Amendment gives them assurance that they can participate in their own cases in a meaningful way,” said Attorney General Brady. Brady serves as Chair of the Criminal Law Committee for the National Association of Attorneys General and on the Board of Directors of the National Organization of Victim Assistance, the largest grass roots victim advocacy organization in the country.
The support letter states that, “The rights [proposed in] S.J.Res.1 are moderate, fair, and yet profound.” The resolution will provide notice to victims of any public proceeding involving the crime, notice of any release or escape of the accused, the right to be heard at criminal justice proceedings and the right to restitution from the offender.
Attorney General Brady and her colleagues from around the country wrote to the sponsors, “Despite the best intentions of our laws, too often crime victims are still denied basic rights to fair treatment and due process that should be the birthright of every citizen who seeks justice through our courts. We are convinced that statutory protections are not enough; only a federal constitutional amendment will be sufficient to change the culture of our legal system.”
The letter was submitted to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month to express the strong support of the Attorneys General for the record. The resolution is scheduled to be debated on the Senate floor beginning Friday, April 23rd, during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. Senators Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) are the prime sponsors.