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National Crime Victim Law Institute

Creating Lasting Change One Survivor at a Time

December 19, 2013

In late summer NCVLI received a call from an assault victim in California. She had learned, after-the-fact, that not only had the prosecution and defense reached a plea agreement in the case, but that defendant had been sentenced at a hearing for which she had no notice (and therefore no opportunity to be heard).  All of this in violation of Marsy’s Law (California’s constitutional rights) to be conferred with, notified, present and heard. The victim was confused, upset, and questioning the point of the justice system.  In December 2013, thanks to a pro bono attorney with whom NCVLI works and who volunteered to represent Jenny, two things happened:  1) there will be a re-sentencing hearing at which Jenny will be heard; and 2) the San Francisco courts are changing their practices to try to prevent similar violations in the future.  This is how victims’ rights go from being mere words onpaper to changing systems!  NCVLI Executive Director Meg Garvin was interviewed for a six-part series on this case.  Check out the story!


Victims need attorneys. Join NCVLI’s membership alliance, the National Alliance of Victims’ Rights Attorneys and Advocates (NAVRA), to be a part of the force on the front lines helping victims every day and changing the way justice is done.  Visit to learn more.