It Was The Most Beautiful Day – Art Jette’s Story
One of Marsy’s Law for Maine’s biggest supporters and advocates is Art Jette. Art is our Somerset County Chair, he heads the Maine Chapter of Parents of Murdered Children, and he and his family are the victims of an unimaginable tragedy.
Art recently spoke with us about why he supports Marsy’s Law and the moment in 1999 he learned of the violent murder of his grandson and his daughter’s best friend. Art said, “It was the most beautiful day when I woke up, but immediately that turned into the worst nightmare that we had ever experienced.” Art’s 22-month old grandson, Treven Jacob Cunningham, and his daughter’s 20-year old best friend, Mindy Elizabeth Angel Gould, had been shot and killed by Mindy’s former boyfriend.
In the two families’ introduction to the criminal justice system, it was explained to them that they did not have equal rights. As representatives of the victims, they did not have the same legal standing as the defendant who murdered their loved ones. The families have experienced this unjust imbalance for nearly two decades throughout the trial and during hearings that continue to this day.
Art said, “Marsy’s Law is really a lot simpler than people give it in value. It really does enshrine the basic elements of human rights, putting victims’ rights on the same playing field as those we afford to the defendant.” Art added, “It is so important we join together and do the right thing and enact Marsy’s Law as an amendment to the Maine Constitution.”
We deeply appreciate Art’s support and his efforts to help pass Marsy’s Law for Maine. This initiative is entirely about doing the right thing for people like Art, his family, and Mindy’s family. No Maine crime victim should ever have to suffer the injustice of not having equal rights as the person who committed the crime. They have suffered enough.