VICTIMS’ RIGHTS AMENDMENT BACKGROUND
California Senator Diane Lynn Feinstein and Arizona Senator
Jon Kyl created a Victims’ Right Amendment in 1996. Their proposal asked for 8
simple victims’ rights. From 1996 to 2004, they could not get 67 Senators to
pass the amendment's bill.
In 1996, President Bill Clinton introduced that amendment. At that time, he said:
"When someone is a victim, he or she should be at the center of the criminal justice process, not on the outside looking in. Participation in all forms of government is the essence of democracy. Victims should be guaranteed the right to participate in proceedings related to crimes committed against them. People accused of crimes have explicit constitutional rights. Ordinary citizens have a constitutional right to participate in criminal trials by serving on a jury. The press has a constitutional right to attend trials. All of this is as it should be. It is only the victims of crime who have no constitutional right to participate, and that is not the way it should be."
Thus in 1996, the US
President in summary said 'victims are second class citizens'.
In 2002, President George Bush endorsed that amendment when victims were still second class.
In 2003, (Steve Chabot, Ohio) the Chairman of the US House Subcommittee on the Constitution gave the truth:
“Currently, the US Constitution is completely silent on victims’ rights, while it speaks volumes about the rights of the accused. Thus, the US Constitution essentially serves as a trump card for those accused of committing crimes in order to keep victims from participating in their prosecution, OR EVEN JUST SITTING IN THE COURTROOM DURING TRIAL."
Today the Victims’ Rights Amendment is in limbo. It is on hold or cancelled. The words from the Victims' Rights Amendment were pulled from the VRA and inserted into a Federal Statute in S2329 that would only require 51 Senators to pass.
The US Senate passed Bill S2329 almost unanimously, 97 to 1,
on April 22, 2004. The US House combined it into their HR5107 that was passed
and signed by George Bush on October 30, 2004. It actually contains the intent
and substance of the Victims’ Rights Amendment. However it is only a Federal
statute. Thus it is limited to only supporting victims of Federal crimes. So all
the States now need to adapt the HR5107 victimhood enhancement into each state's laws.
Beyond that law expansion, a revised Victimhood Amendment is needed. It should, at a minimum, create a presence in the Constitution for a class of citizens called “victim”. Then laws created either in the US Congress or the state legislatures could be supported by the US Constitution.
An amendment might include a simple affirmation of these three things:
The Legislative Branches will create laws to support victims’ rights.
The Executive Branches will remedy those victims’ rights laws to ensure adherence within the government.
The Judicial Branches will adjudicate those laws regarding victims’ rights in the Courts.
Sure it seems like a lot of work for the obvious, but the present laws did not work in West Virginia. We believe that there must be similar issues in the other states!
Jan and Rog McQuaid ask you to please become a volunteer for Victimhood.
Those who are victims or are going to be Victims need
Please use Jan's petition today to let congress know that you care about a Victimhood Amendment. Help us get 100,000 voters agreeing that the next amendment is needed.
Now - print our Victimhood Amendment Petition and get friends and neighbors to sign it.
Details for rewards for Petition volunteer help is found in Ordering Page.
Also please consider telling your state legislature that our country cares about victimhood and we want those additional victims' rights that were passed in the 2004 Federal Statute (Adobe Acrobat .pdf format) adopted for state victims. Your legislator would be more focused if you recorded other voters signatures for him or her with Victimhood State Rights petition.