Victim’s Rights Across State Lines
Without equal rights for victims of crimes, families often are victimized again by a justice system that fails to serve them. Additionally, the laws of one state can affect family members who reside in other states. For Sheri Harber, her sister’s case in Montana hits home in Texas:
On October 27, 1970 I was blessed with a baby sister, Kathryn Danielle Little. She was my best friend and I was honored to be her sister and share her life until July 31, 1999.
On that day, she lost her life due to the act of someone else – she was murdered. I also lost a part of my life, as did each member of our family. On that day that I had to see her lying in her casket, I promised her I would see that her killer was brought to justice. I have spent fifteen years trying to make that happen. Her husband was finally arrested on 9/11/14.
Since then, I have seemed to live the horror all over again. As a victim, I have not been afforded the privilege of knowing anything about court dates, trial delays, bond reduction hearing or even his release from jail. Not once has the court given me or our family the opportunity to be present at hearings, speak at his bond reduction hearing or to even know about trial delays. The rights are only given to the killer. He was released from jail and we were unaware of this for over 48 hours. He could have easily been at my front doorstep in Texas, before I even knew he was free.
Our family suffers enough because of this tragedy, only to suffer even more when it is time for our judicial system to provide justice. It has now been sixteen years since her death and over one year since he was arrested, and we still wait for answers. We deserve and demand that victims and victim’s families have rights! The right to know, be informed and speak on behalf of the victim must be granted to crime victims, not just the accused! Marsy’s Law would ensure these rights!
Grand Prairie, Texas