Shedding Light on the Criminal Justice System
At the Marsy’s Law for Maine public hearing before Maine’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee in May, one of the people who spoke in favor of our effort to bring equal rights to crime victims was a Maine faith leader – a minister who has counseled and supported several families who have been victims of violent crimes. He spoke about his experiences with those families, and in particular, their sense of having no control or information following the crime.
While the accused or convicted are afforded constitutional rights and protections and are supported by the criminal justice system throughout the entire process, he said victims and their family members often feel they “are in a big black hole with no way out.” This feeling can continue through the trial, the appeals process, and in many ways for many years.
This does not have to be the case. With Marsy’s Law for Maine, we will change that. Crime victims will have rights that are equal, strong and enforceable, and rights that will keep them informed and give them a voice. Crime victims will finally have some sense of control in their cases during what is undeniably the most difficult times of their lives.