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NEWS
June 19, 1995
A trial centers around a person accused of a crime. His constitutional right to a fair hearing is paramount.That is the cornerstone upon which our entire system of justice rests. It is not difficult to see, however, why victims of crimes often find the trial process frustrating. They have been hurt, yet all the court's attention focuses on the person who allegedly did the hurting.For some time now, victims who ask, "What about our rights?" have gotten a sympathetic ear from politicians and voters, both of whom overwhelmingly supported a victims' rights amendment to the state constitution in last November's elections.
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NEWS
May 23, 2014
Commentator Sidney Rocke laments that "Maryland Del. Joe Vallario rules the House Judiciary Committee with an iron fist" ("A dictator in the House?" May 5). After the murder of Stephanie Roper 32 years ago, Delegate Vallario stepped up and has been the lead sponsor of victims' rights legislation in the Maryland House of Delegates - first for the Stephanie Roper Committee Inc., and now for its successor, the Maryland Crime Victims' Resource Center. Listed on MCVRC's website under "Law and Policy" is a compilation of victims' rights laws in Maryland, most of which were sponsored by Mr. Vallario.
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NEWS
By Alyson Harkins and Alyson Harkins,SUN STAFF | February 19, 2001
A Glen Burnie wrestling match is not the place one might expect to find Roberta Roper, who has been fighting for nearly two decades - since the rape, torture and murder of her daughter - on behalf of crime victims' rights. But Roper expects to be at Michael's Eighth Avenue on Wednesday as Maryland Championship Wrestling presents an eight-match show, with the victims rights organization founded in her daughter's memory as its beneficiary. A wrestling show raised more than $5,000 last year to benefit the family of county resident Lisa Marie Spicknall, whose children, Destiny and Richie, were killed by their father in 1999.
NEWS
April 18, 2013
The words "victims" and "celebration" don't often go hand in hand, but this week the Historic Courtroom of the Circuit Court Building in Annapolis hosted a Victims' Rights Week Celebration honoring residents and criminal justice professionals who work with victims of crime. The Victim-Witness Unit, a department of the county state's attorney's office that works to help victims of all types of crime, organized Wednesday's ceremony and luncheon. The unit has victim-witness specialists based in county courthouses.
NEWS
February 7, 1993
The desire for privacy is an intensely personal emotion. It is also emerging as an intensely complicated area of the law, particularly when individual privacy concerns and the public interest diverge. Just that sort of conflict is raised by a bill introduced in the General Assembly by Sen. Janice Piccinini to forbid police from identifying victims of violent crimes unless they are dead, missing or agree to the release of their names.The Baltimore County legislator says that crime victims are twice violated, first when they are assaulted or burglarized, and second when their names are printed or broadcast.
NEWS
By Frank Langfitt and Frank Langfitt,Sun Staff Writer | February 19, 1994
A proposed amendment to the state constitution guaranteeing rights for crime victims rolled through the legislature like a train yesterday, with most members voting to approve the popular measure.The Senate passed the amendment 42 to 0 without debate. The House of Delegates also approved it overwhelmingly, 126 to 11.The amendment would grant victims the right to be treated with "dignity, respect and sensitivity" by the court system. They would also have the right to be notified of relevant criminal justice proceedings, to attend them and to be heard.
NEWS
March 2, 1994
It's not uncommon for the prosecution in domestic violence cases to get no help from the victim, or even to have cases undermined by a victim who is unwilling to testify. So last week's conviction of a Baltimore County man accused of raping and beating his former girlfriend despite her testimony for the defense was a notable achievement for the county's new unit devoted to the prosecution of domestic violence cases.Prosecutors successfully made use of testimony by police officers, emergency room staff and the victim's former roommate, as well as graphic photographs of the 18-year-old woman's swollen face and bruised body.
NEWS
By Steve Chapman | April 20, 2004
CHICAGO - Americans cherish and revere the Constitution. But often their attitude brings to mind the Broadway show I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change. The only thing many of them like more than the Constitution is the opportunity to fix its grievous flaws. The latest suggestion for improvement stems from a belief that it shortchanges the needs of crime victims. The entire criminal justice system, of course, could be seen as a giant apparatus set up to vindicate the interests of crime victims.
NEWS
By Kate Shatzkin and Kate Shatzkin,Sun Staff Writer | November 9, 1994
Maryland voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment fortifying the rights of Maryland crime victims last night.But they rejected a measure giving state judges more time on the bench before retirement. A third amendment -- reconfiguring the districts from which Maryland Court of Appeals judges are selected -- passed by a large margin.Ninety-two percent of Maryland voters favored the victims' rights amendment -- Question 1 on the ballot -- according to complete statewide returns.
NEWS
By Alyson Harkins and Alyson Harkins,SUN STAFF | February 19, 2001
A Glen Burnie wrestling match is not the place one might expect to find Roberta Roper, who has been fighting for nearly two decades - since the rape, torture and murder of her daughter - on behalf of crime victims' rights. But Roper expects to be at Michael's Eighth Avenue on Wednesday as Maryland Championship Wrestling presents an eight-match show, with the victims' rights organization founded in her daughter's memory as its beneficiary. A wrestling show raised more than $5,000 last year to benefit the family of county resident Lisa Marie Spicknall, whose children, Destiny and Richie, were killed by their father in 1999.
NEWS
May 2, 2012
It is difficult to describe my feelings on reading about the horrific story years of violence and sexual abuse of Catholic school children at the hands of John Merzbacher ("Prepared to make their voices heard," April 29). That there could be any chance of Mr. Merzbacher being released back into the community is hard to imagine. I don't believe there is often much "justice" in our country's criminal justice system, but this has to be one of the most blatant examples of how the victims seem to bear the brunt of the crime and the perpetrators continue to be shown mercy and granted rights they should not have.
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AEGIS STAFF REPORT | April 19, 2012
The Harford County State's Attorney's office is participating in National Crime Victims' Rights Week April 22-28 and will feature a program about presenting crime this Monday. This annual observance seeks to increase public awareness and knowledge among crime victims and survivors about the wide range of rights and services available to people who have been victimized by crime, according to State's Attorney Joseph Cassilly. The theme for the 2012 National Crime Victims' Rights Week is "Extending the Vision, Reaching Every Victim.
NEWS
By Bonnita Spikes | April 12, 2011
This is National Crime Victims' Rights Week -- a time for the nation and our state to ask about the meaning of justice, both present and future, for those harmed by crime. Our theme this year, "Reshaping the Future, Honoring the Past," calls on us to not only reflect, but also to act. Our first duty is to never forget the impact of crime. I am a crime victim. My husband, Michael, was murdered in a convenience store robbery in 1994. I was left to raise our four boys on my own. I'm happy to report that they have all become wonderful, productive adult men despite what they lost that day. But, even now, the anniversary of that day can bring us to our knees.
NEWS
By Nick Madigan, The Baltimore Sun | August 19, 2010
A lawyer for Skateworks said Thursday that there are "inconsistencies" in a 12-year-old girl's account of a gang rape she says she endured at the Woodlawn roller rink last Saturday. The attorney's implication that the girl might have been at least partly to blame for what occurred was immediately assailed by victims-rights advocates. Paul W. Gardner, who represents the rink's owners, released images from surveillance video taken in the Skateworks building that he said indicate the girl willingly accompanied two of the three males later accused of assaulting her in a small storage room.
NEWS
By Nicole Fuller, The Baltimore Sun | April 30, 2010
Michael Rindos was driving along Bay Dale Drive in Annapolis last summer when he saw a shocking scene: A nearly naked young woman driving behind him was being struck by a man in the car, and she was screaming for help. Rindos, now 19 and a freshman at the University of Maryland, College Park, said he didn't think about the potential dangers that June afternoon. He just sprang into action. "He probably didn't think he was going to be a hero," said Anne Arundel County Assistant State's Attorney Anastasia Prigge.
NEWS
May 4, 2008
A Catonsville mother saw the crash on an Anne Arundel County road and stopped to help a father and son who had been hit by a Honda Accord as they prepared to change a flat tire on their Chevy Trailblazer. And an off-duty Fort Meade paramedic rushed to the scene after hearing the accident reported on his scanner. Christina Adamitis and Capt. James E. Goetz both offered "great comfort and aid," victim advocate Meg Haward said of the help the two provided that winter morning in 2006 at the scene of the crash, where John Dick and his 12-year-old son Tyler lay, each missing one of his legs.
NEWS
By Mike Farabaugh and Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF | April 22, 1998
The Carroll County state's attorney and a staff member from his office will be honored Friday at the Governor's Victim Assistance Awards luncheon in Linthicum for their contributions to victims' rights and services.Jerry F. Barnes and Shirley E. Haas, director of the director of the Victim Witness Assistance Unit, are two of 30 being recognized at the luncheon, which is sponsored by the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention in conjunction with National Crime Victim Rights Week, which ends Saturday.
NEWS
By Tyeesha Dixon and Tyeesha Dixon,[Sun reporter] | April 20, 2008
Tears rolled down Thelma Watts' face as she watched the flame of a lavender votive candle flicker inside the glass holder she held in her hands. The flame represented just a small way to commemorate the life of her son, Anthony Owens-Smith, who was killed in Columbia nearly two years ago. About 40 people gathered last week at the county government complex in Ellicott City for a memorial ceremony for Howard County crime victims. The event, which was attended by officials from the Howard County state's attorney's office and Police Department, commemorated National Victims' Rights Week.
NEWS
By Gus G. Sentementes and Gus G. Sentementes,Sun reporter | April 12, 2008
For Phyllis Bricker, a rare tour yesterday through the Supermax prison - where her parents' killer is housed on death row - was the latest step in a painful odyssey as she awaits an execution that has been on hold for years. "My parents are gone, and he's still here," Bricker said while standing inside the fortified building north of downtown, at the state prison complex on East Madison Street. For Lisa Spicknall, whose husband killed their two children in 1999 and was later slain by another inmate in prison in Jessup, there was some relief.
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