Florence, AZ – Pinal County Attorney James P. Walsh announced his support for a proposed victims’ rights amendment to the United States Constitution. The proposed amendment designated as “House Joint Resolution 106” is being discussed in Congress.
“The United States Constitution has not been amended many times and then, only for important reasons,” said James P. Walsh, Pinal County Attorney. “This amendment will provide a framework of rights for crime victims throughout the country.”
Arizona adopted a Victims’ Bill of Rights by amending the Arizona Constitution
more than 20 years ago. Those rights include the ability of victims to have their voice heard at court hearings for post arrest release, a negotiated plea and sentencing. Most importantly victims have the right “to be treated with fairness, respect and dignity, …”
“It seems to me that if in Arizona can provide protections for crime victims, the same can be done throughout the country,” Walsh said. “Persons accused of crimes enjoy rights and protections, it seems to me that victims should as well.”
Currently in Arizona, a victim of a state defined crime has rights but a victim of a federal crime may not have the same rights.
This federal amendment will have no cost or other impact on how Arizona prosecutors and courts conduct their work, since the Arizona Victims’ Bill of Rights anticipated the substance of the federal amendment.
An amendment becomes part of the United States Constitution after it is proposed by the U.S. House and Senate and approved by three-fourths of the 50 states.
Recognition of victims’ rights has progressed dramatically since the 1980s. All states and the federal government have comprehensive victims’ rights laws and 33 states, including Arizona, have constitutional amendments to protect victims’ rights. The federal “Justice for All Act” of 2004 and specific Arizona laws also protect victims.
For more information go to:
The Pinal County Attorney’s Web site
Call Kostas Kalaitzidis at 520 866 6699 or 520 709 1333 or email at Kostas.email@example.com