AUGUSTA – People gathered in Augusta to acknowledge National Crime Victims’ Rights week and discussed their experiences.
“Honoring our past and hoping for a future” was the theme of the 15th Annual National Crime Victim’s rights week luncheon.
“Everybody in this room has gone through the same thing.” said Vance Ginn, whose daughter was murdered. “We’ve all suffered a great loss through someone taking our loved ones life.”
Those in attendance on Sunday included law enforcement and crime victim survivors.
“On March 16th, I received a call at 5:30 in the morning.” said Arthur Jette, Maine’s Chapter Leader of Parents of Murdered Children. “It was my son in Florida, completely distraught, sharing that my 19 year-old grandson was shot and killed. He wasn’t a gangster, he wasn’t doing anything wrong. We just know that he didn’t deserve to have his life taken that way.”
Jette has had two grandchildren that have been murdered.
According to him, more than 600 people in Maine are directly affected by homicides.
Attendees discussed ways to improve victim safety, including the use of electronic monitoring on domestic violence offenders.
“It really gives us a head start” said Waldo County Sheriff, Jeffrey Trafton. “If these guys step out of the zones their supposed to be in, we get that heads up. I think it can keep bad things from happening or at least help.”
Another topic of discussion was last year’s failed attempt to pass Marsy’s Law in Maine.
Marsy’s Law would create constitutional rights for victims such as allowing them to be present at the perpetrators hearings and notified of future court dates.
We’re not just going to forget the needs of victims and ignore the facts they don’t have any rights” said Jette. “We’re going to work forward and go forward to try to always remember there’s no one more important in the courtroom, in a case of crime, than the person who’s effected by it.”
There is no legislation in favor of victim’s rights this session, but Jette says the group will continue to work for it.