Silencing The Victim? Shame On You

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Congratulations, I guess, to the Supreme Judicial Court for its unanimous ruling yesterday that “it is neither cruel nor unusual or irrational, nor is it violative of a defendant's due process guarantees, for a judge to listen with intensity to the perspective of a crime victim.”

But really – how on earth was this ever in dispute?

The case in question involved a man convicted of assault and battery. He was already serving time for an unrelated abuse prevention order violation.

The state and the victim asked for 2 ½ years, the maximum, for the A & B; the judge gave the perp 18 months, concurrent with his other sentence.

But that wasn’t lenient enough for Mr. Assault & Battery, who challenged the right of the victim to make a sentencing recommendation as part of their impact statement.

The SJC made short work of this nonsense, which didn’t deter the defense lawyer who wasted their time with it from claiming their ruling was “written in a very pro-victim way.”

Yes, counselor, exactly right.

I don’t want to ruin your weekend, but “pro-victim” is exactly where our society should be, even more than we are already.

Yes, defendants have rights, and due process is essential.

But the victims are the innocents exploited or damaged by the guilty. The justice system, if it’s really about justice, is supposed to be working on their behalf, not for the perpetrator beyond assuring him or her a fair trial.

The notion that victims should be silenced in court, or ignored by judges when they do speak, is extremely offensive.

And even for a professional defense lawyer, promoting that concept is as shameful as it gets.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. Listen to his previous podcasts on iHeartRadio. 

Listen to Jon's commentary here:

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