NCVLI Fights for Victims’ Right to be Present as an Individual, Enforceable Right
November 03, 2011
For many victims, the option to be present at and participate in criminal proceedings is a critical step in beginning to heal from the crime. Like all victims’ rights, this is an individual right, one which victims should have the opportunity to exercise if they so choose. Unfortunately, victims are routinely denied their right to be present.
For this reason, NCVLI recently fought for a victim’s right to be present in an Oregon case involving a brutal assault and attempted murder in which the defendant argued that the victim’s presence at a pretrial hearing at which she was able to view him rendered the victim’s later identification of him at trial unreliable and subject to exclusion by the court.
NCVLI submitted an amicus brief to the Oregon Supreme Court arguing that the defendant mischaracterized a victim’s right to be present as subject to the control or discretion of the state, whereas this right is personally held and enforceable by the victim.
NCVLI further argued that a finding by the court that a victim’s presence at a pretrial hearing would render later identification testimony inadmissible, would improperly place the victim in the position of choosing between a successful prosecution of the person who victimized her and the exercise of her right to be present.
Our amicus briefs educate the courts about how their decisions will impact victims and move us a step closer to ensuring that each case fulfills its potential to improve the landscape for future victims by setting positive legal precedent. Donate today to help us build a better future for victims!