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National Crime Victim Law Institute

Victim Voice is Critical at Release Hearings

January 15, 2015

Hearings concerning release conditions and bond are critical stages of a proceeding during which victim safety is at issue and victim voice is critical.  In late December, Connecticut’s Division of Criminal Justice Appellate Bureau notified NCVLI of an important case pending before the Connecticut Supreme Court.  In the case, which involves multiple assaults on multiple victims, the trial court had considered the victims’ rights to be treated with fairness and respect throughout the criminal justice process and to protection from the accused when imposing a bond.  The defendant sought appellate review, arguing, in part, that it was error to consider the victims’ rights. NCVLI filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the trial court, arguing that because victims’ constitutional rights are not subordinate to the constitutional rights of defendant but instead are equally fundamental to the fair adjudication of criminal proceedings, that the trial court had no choice but to consider the rights and failure to have done so would have resulted in a constitutionally flawed proceeding.  We are grateful to Attorney Proloy Das of Rome McGuigan, PC who acted as local counsel in this important case!