Next Tuesday Illinois citizens will once again, take to their Polling places an place their vote for new or incumbent political leaders. Also on that ballot will be the Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights which I’m posting below.
I can tell you from personal experience that the original bill was nothing more than political grandstanding. And this new bill won’t make things any better but at least the politicians are beginning to get the message that we, the victims, expect to have our day in court also, which has not been the case in the past.
One reason for that is, people (crime victims) tend to forget that even though the crime may have taken place against them personally, the law views it as a crime against the State, not you.
As a victim of a vicious and continued stalking I’ve learned to live with that, because:
NOT ONCE. NEVER has any Politician, (state or local, present or past) considered how I must feel being publically humiliated each day in order to make someone else ‘feel good’ about themselves.
NOT ONCE. NEVER has any Policeman, Policewoman, Congressman, Congresswoman, State Representative came to my home or place of work and asked, ‘How can I help you?” NOT ONCE NEVER.
NOT ONCE. NEVER has any of the above put forth so much as a penny towards helping me recoup financially from the damage (physical, mental or property wise) done by those stalking me.
NOT ONCE. NEVER have I been informed of any action taken by the State against those stalking me.
I don’t see that changing even with the proposed amendment to the Illinois constitution. Why, because in my case, the State would find its self in a hell of a lot of trouble.
But like I said, it is a step in the right direction. Perhaps, one day, I’ll receive an official letter in the mail informing me that those persons actively involved in violation of Illinois State Law 740 ILCS 21 Section 5 against the person and/or property of Eliza D. Ankum have been issued a ‘No Contact Order’ and have been issued a subpoena to appear in the 4th District Court of Cook County on the date of ……..
Until then, I will carry on as usual. “No! I don’t hear voices. I hear people. People getting away with breaking the Law.”
The Illinois Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights
The Illinois Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights Amendment is on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Illinois as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure would strengthen the Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights. Specifically, the amendment would guarantee the following:
A victim’s right to be free from harassment, intimidation and abuse throughout the criminal trial process.
A victim’s right to notice and to a hearing before a court ruling on access to any of the victim’s records, information or communications.
A victim’s right to be heard at any post-arraignment court proceeding in which a victim’s right is at issue and at any court proceeding involving a post-arraignment release decision, plea or sentencing.
A consideration of the safety of the victim and their family in determining bail and conditions of release after arrest and conviction of the defendant.
That the accused does not have standing to assert the rights of a victim.
In order to be ratified, this measure must be approved by either three-fifths of those voting on the question or by a majority of people voting in the election.
Text of the measure
The ballot language appears as follows:
“ The proposed amendment makes changes to Section 8.1 of Article I of the Illinois constitution, the Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights. The proposed amendment would expand certain rights already granted to crime victims in Illinois, and give crime victims the ability to enforce their rights in a court of law. You are asked to decide whether the proposed amendment should become part of the Illinois Constitution.
The proposed amendment would amend Section 8.1 of Article I of the Constitution of Illinois:
SECTION 8.1. CRIME VICTIMS’ VICTIM’S RIGHTS.
(a) Crime victims, as defined by law, shall have the following rights as provided by law:
(1) The right to be treated with fairness and respect for their dignity and privacy and to be free from harassment, intimidation, and abuse throughout the criminal justice process.
(2) The right to notice and to a hearing before a court ruling on a request for access to any of the victim’s records, information, or communications which are privileged or confidential by law.
(3) (2) The right to timely notification of all court proceedings.
(4) (3) The right to communicate with the prosecution.
(5) (4) The right to be heard at any post-arraignment court proceeding in which a right of the victim is at issue and any court proceeding involving a post-arraignment release decision, plea, or sentencing make a statement to the court at sentencing.
(6) (5) The right to be notified of information about the conviction, the sentence, the imprisonment, and the release of the accused.
(7) (6) The right to timely disposition of the case following the arrest of the accused.
(8) (7) The right to be reasonably protected from the accused throughout the criminal justice process.
(9) The right to have the safety of the victim and the victim’s family considered in denying or fixing the amount of bail, determining whether to release the defendant, and setting conditions of release after arrest and conviction.
(10) (8) The right to be present at the trial and all other court proceedings on the same basis as the accused, unless the victim is to testify and the court determines that the victim’s testimony would be materially affected if the victim hears other testimony at the trial.
(11) (9) The right to have present at all court proceedings, subject to the rules of evidence, an advocate and or other support person of the victim’s choice.
(12) (10) The right to restitution.
(b) The victim has standing to assert the rights enumerated in subsection (a) in any court exercising jurisdiction over the case. The court shall promptly rule on a victim’s request. The victim does not have party status. The accused does not have standing to assert the rights of a victim. The court shall not appoint an attorney for the victim under this Section. Nothing in this Section shall be construed to alter the powers, duties, and responsibilities of the prosecuting attorney The General Assembly may provide by law for the enforcement of this Section.
(c) The General Assembly may provide for an assessment against convicted defendants to pay for crime victims’ rights.
(d) Nothing in this Section or any law enacted under this Section creates a cause of action in equity or at law for compensation, attorney’s fees, or damages against the State, a political subdivision of the State, an officer, employee, or agent of the State or of any political subdivision of the State, or an officer or employee of the court. or in any law enacted under
(e) Nothing in this Section or any law enacted under this Section shall be construed as creating (1) a basis for vacating a conviction or (2) a ground for any relief requested by the defendant appellate relief in any criminal case.
STALKED! By Voices (It’s my victim impact statement.)