In 2007 my sister, Jennifer, was murdered in Minot. Not only was that horrible enough, but Jennifer left behind two young boys. My nephews no longer have their mother and the youngest is without a father as he was the man who killed my sister.
Four years ago, Andrea was raped. She reported the crime to the police and went to the hospital for care. Thereafter, she was never informed of the status of her case. She was never told if her rapist was released from jail or even arrested. A short time later, during a trip to the grocery store, she came face-to-face with her rapist. Andrea had to relive her victimization.
For the four-year-old North Dakotan who was a victim of child pornography, does that child (and parents) deserve to know what’s going on in the case against the accused criminal? Does that child/family deserve to be notified of any plea agreements, sentencing, or release of the accused? We believe they do. However, the existing victims’ rights to protect them are not getting the job done; partly because the accused’s constitutional rights supersede the victims’ and partly because current statutes have no enforceability.
“Michelle” is a television news anchor who was looking forward to her birthday on a bitterly cold winter night. She was coming home from work. Normally, she didn’t park in the garage of her Minot, ND, four-plex. But that night, November 23,1997, it was roughly 20 degrees below zero. So, she parked her car in the garage and got out.
Domestic violence is an issue across the country in which, far too often, abusers are able to escape charges for their behavior due to the lack of proper victims’ rights laws. In North Dakota, the situation is no different. Below, Lynn shares her story on why she believes North Dakota needs Marsy’s Law.