Honoring Victim’s Rights

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April is National Crime Victim’s Rights Month, it has been honored since 1981.

In September of 1984, when my younger sister, Vicki Lynne, was murdered, Arizona did not have legislation in place to protect us as victim’s of this crime or give us equal rights in the courtroom as we watched the conviction of her murderer take place.

In 1990, after years of hard work by people, including my mom, Debbie Carlson, Arizona  voters passed legislation to implement the Victim’s Bill of Rights, it went into affect in 1991. Today, the Pima County Attorney, Barbara Lawall, and her office still work passionately to keep this legislation in tact, and grow the Victim Witness Program to lead our nation in this movement. It has been a tremendous battle in the years since the changes in these laws have taken place, and such a crucial part of helping victim’s when dealing with heinous crimes.

This past Monday, I took part in a radio interview on the John C. Scott Show (Arizona), with Barbara Lawall to help promote Victim’s Right’s Week and talk about some of the things that happened to us as victim’s prior to the legislative changes that were made in 1991.

02 Stephanie (Hoskinson) Brandt Interview

(Audio Clip from John C. Scott Show, Monday April 15,2013)

During the interview we discussed the hours of depositions that my mom and I were subjected to by the defense counsel and the unfair treatment we had in the courtroom during the sentencing hearing. Two instances in which we, as victims, were treated so unfairly. Today, because of the Victim’s Bill of Rights, this would not happen.

There are many stories to share from our 28 1/2 year journey, many of them start out so inconceivable and end incredibly positive like the legislative changes that were made in 1991.

I hope that we all can take a moment to not only honor Victim’s Rights as a whole, but to also give thanks to those who give so unconditionally in the wake of crime and terror to make a positive impact to those, like ourselves, who are directly affected. There will alway be horrible, terrible people in this world, but the good will always prevail.

 

Yellow Ribbon in Memory  of Vicki Lynne

Yellow Ribbon in Memory
of Vicki Lynne

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