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Blog Post #5– California Victim’s Voice

Victims and survivors are under attack by well-funded pro-criminal, pro-crime organizations and lobby. Victims and survivors are the only ones who can tell California citizens the truth about the effects of crime. There are thousands of crime victims, survivors and supporters who can spread the message of our anger and disgust by writing state and local politicians, news media – print, TV, social media, speak to church and social organizations. Get involved and convince your friends to join you. Let your opinions be known, victims have a right to do so.

Double Jeopardy: The common understanding for double jeopardy is that if the accused is found Not Guilty at trial, the accused cannot be criminally tried again for the same offence. This is guaranteed in the 5th Amendment of our Constitution. A stable, unchanging right of the accused.

Victims and survivors suffer a reverse version of Double Jeopardy: a retrial, early parole or release, parole hearings: these and other actions expose victims and survivors to the double jeopardy of reliving the trial, reliving the tragedy and suffering, and, once again fighting for justice for your loved one. Because victim double jeopardy is not a constitutional right, our rights are cavalierly diminished, subject to change or just plain ignored in the criminal justice system.

Case in Point: California SB 1437 erased a legal principal that has been in criminal law for centuries: any person who conspired and/or participated in a crime is equally guilty of all aspects of the crime. This includes lookout people, get away drivers – all are equally guilty. The rationale: “implied malice aforethought” and “natural and probable consequences doctrine.” SB 1437 proclaims that a criminal is not equally quilty of a violent crime committed during the primary crime if she/he did not participate in, or expect or know, a violent crime could/would be committed. This law creates an enormous defense loophole favoring criminals.  

SB 1437 is retroactive, get ready for the retrials and victim double jeopardy. SB1437 and recent pro-criminal laws rarely or never mention or consider the victim and survivors rights. California truly has a criminal’s justice system. Shame.

Jack Reilley  July 22, 2019