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Medical Whistleblower Advocacy Network

Human Rights Defenders

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

 Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 1

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"Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a law breaker,

it breeds contempt for the law."

Justice Louis D. Brandeis

Source: Olmstead v. United States, 1928

Crime Victims Rights

“Even in states with a victims’ rights constitutional amendment,

the overall protection of victims is varied and uneven.

In addition, without federal constitutional protection, victims’ rights

are always subject to being automatically trumped by defendants’ rights.”

Robert E. Preston, Co-chair,

National Victims‘ Constitutional

Amendment Network

 

 

Since 1982, a substantial number of the 68 recommendations in the President‘s Task Force on Victims of Crime Final Report have been enacted and implemented due in a large part to the efforts of crime victims.(1) These accomplishments include the Victims of Crime Act in 1984, the landmark Crime Act of 1994, the countless state statutes that strengthen victims‘ rights and hold offenders accountable to their victims, and the 29 state victims‘ rights constitutional amendments. Each year, hundreds of new victims‘ rights laws and innovative practices are enacted and implemented across the country. Since 1990, after cases of stalking received national attention from the media and victim advocacy groups, all 50 states and the District of Columbia modified their laws to criminalize stalking (2) Some state legislatures also reacted swiftly to the escalation of juvenile crime to record levels in the early 1990s by extending at least some rights to victims of juvenile offenders. In 1992, for example, only five states provided victims the right to be notified of a disposition hearing involving a juvenile. By 1995, 25 states provided this right.(3)  Despite this record of success, however, victims are still being denied their right to participate in the justice system. Many victims‘ rights laws are not being implemented, and most states still have not enacted fundamental reforms such as consultation by prosecutors with victims prior to plea agreements, victim input into important pretrial release decisions such as the granting of bail, protection of victims from intimidation and harm, and comprehensive rights for victims of juvenile offenders.

 

The right to protection from intimidation, harassment, and retaliation by offenders and the accused is becoming a major focus of public and law enforcement attention. Justice officials report an increase in the harassment and intimidation of witnesses, making it increasingly difficult to obtain convictions because crime victims and witnesses are afraid to testify. (4)  Legislatures have attempted to address this problem by mandating ―no contact‖ orders as a condition of pretrial or post trial release. In addition, victims‘ bills of rights generally require victims to be notified at the outset of the judicial process about legal action they can take to protect themselves from harassment and intimidation. Harassment or intimidation of a victim or witness by a defendant or convicted offender should result in automatic revocation of pretrial or supervised post trial release, and should be considered an aggravating factor in sentencing. Such violations should be charged and prosecuted under relevant anti-harassment, intimidation, and stalking laws. Any punishment imposed for the separate crime of intimidation should run consecutively after the sanction for the original crime. All protective orders, including those issued as a condition of release, should be maintained in a central, automated database that can be accessed by law enforcement and other justice officials throughout the country. Violations of protective orders should be taken seriously, swiftly.(5)


1. NCJ 170600 New Directions from the Field: Victims‘ Rights and Services for the 21st Century


2. Violence Against Women Grants Office, Domestic Violence and Stalking:The Second Annual Report to Congress,Washington,D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs,Violence Against Women Grants Office, July 1997 :15


3.Szymanski, L., Rights of Victims of Juvenile Crimes Statutes Analysis, 1993 Update, National Center for Juvenile Justice, 1994:1-9. See also National Victim Center, 1996 Victims‘ Rights Sourcebook, § 13 (discussions of victims‘ rights at the juvenile level). See generally, Beatty,D., S. Howley, and D. Kilpatric


4. Duggan, P.,―Reward Program Targets Witnesses to D.C. Homicides,‖Washington Post, March 23, 1994.


5. NCJ 170600 New Directions from the Field: Victims‘ Rights and Services for the 21st Century


Anne Ream, founder of The Voices and Faces Project, talks about how "first responders," families and communities can better support sexual violence victims. Her mother, Melva Luker, also talks about how she coped with her daughter's sexual assault.

"If the jury have no right to judge of the justice of a law of the government, they plainly can do nothing to protect the people against the oppressions of the government; for there are no oppressions which the government may not authorize by law. "

Lysander Spooner

"The best way to solve any problem is to remove its cause."

Martin Luther King Jr., Stride Towards Freedom 1964.

"An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law."

Martin Luther King, Jr.

"What is truth? Truth doesn't really exist. Who is going to judge whether my experience of an incident is more valid than yours? No one can be trusted to be the judge of that.

Tracey Emin

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

― Leo Buscaglia

Medical Whistleblower Advocacy Network

MEDICAL WHISTLEBLOWER ADVOCACY NETWORK

P.O. 42700 

Washington, DC 20015

MedicalWhistleblowers (at) gmail.com

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"Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself."  Confucius

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

Theodore Roosevelt- Excerpt from the speech "Citizenship In A Republic", delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910