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National Crime Victim Law Institute

Support Victims’ Rights Today!

November 14, 2017

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    Chris Wilson

Every day we work on cases across the country.  Over the past year we filed 15 amicus curiae briefs with partners. NCVLI attorneys spend hundreds of hours on each case, with each case costing more than $15,000.  This work depends on donors like you.  Please help us now!

One case began on March 27, when NCVLI’s legal team received a call from a victim’s attorney.  The Texas Court of Appeals had just overturned the sexual assault conviction of a former Baylor football player.  Despite significant evidence, the court of appeals based its decision on text messages that were excluded from evidence.  These private texts discussed the victim’s alleged prior sexual activities.  We were stunned.  Texas, like every other state, has longstanding protections for rape victims.  Protections designed to ensure that a case is about the defendant’s conduct not the victim’s alleged sexual history. 

The court of appeals’ decision undid decades of work.  It could not stand unchallenged!  Despite significant caseloads, and conflicting, urgent deadlines, we mobilized.  We pulled together national partners; we spent hundreds of hours researching and writing.  On April 21st we filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the victim’s rights.  We asked Texas’ highest criminal court to review the case and reject the court of appeals’ decision. 

On September 13th the high court accepted review! We were thrilled!  But it is too early to celebrate.  This success was the first of many steps in the fight to protect rape victims in Texas.  We are turning to the next amicus curiae brief, framing the issues to encourage the high court to uphold the privacy and protection rights owed to this victim and all Texas victims. 

Our work extends beyond Texas and depends on donors like you.  Together, we can secure victims’ rights in our criminal justice system.  Please help us, donate today!