Victims' rights bill passes unanimously

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:27

    Bipartisan legislation enhancing the rights of crime victims was unanimously approved by the Assembly Judiciary Committee recently. It is sponsored by Assembly Republican Leader Alex DeCroce and Assembly Republicans Bob Schroeder and Alison Littell McHose. “Crime victims endure tremendous amounts of stress and suffering and don’t deserve additional burdens as their tormentors are brought to justice,” Assembly Republican Leader Alex DeCroce, R-Morris and Passaic, said. “Keeping victims informed, free from intimidation and fairly compensated treats them with the respect and dignity they deserve.” The bipartisan bill, A-2558, would ensure: Victims are notified about the progress of their case, including any changes in the court schedule. Protect them from harassment or abuse by defendants or their supporters. Provide medical assistance that is related to the crime. Guarantee compensation for losses sustained by the victim. Give greater consideration to a victim’s impact statement. Allow victims to display a picture or wear a button in support of a murdered loved one in court. “Crime victims deserve our empathy and our gratitude. They help bring criminals to justice so someone else doesn’t have to experience the same ordeal they have,” Assemblyman Bob Schroeder, R-Bergen, said. “It’s a matter of human decency to make sure they receive all the rights and remedies they are entitled to.” The measure enhances the rights provided to crime victims since voters approved the Victims’ Rights Amendment to the New Jersey Constitution in 1991. “The rights of crime victims are a constitutional mandate by the people of New Jersey and the moral treatment of people who have suffered through no fault of their own,” Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose, R-24, said. “We owe victims assurance that their voices will be heard, their needs will be met and that they won’t be re-victimized during the court procedure.”