2017-09-01 / Letters

Effort is close to letter writer

To the editor:

I recently joined a bipartisan effort called Marsy’s Law for Maine, which seeks to bring equal rights to crime victims in our state. The effort is personal for me, as my family and I became victims when my 25- year old daughter, Darien, was murdered as a result of a shooting in a violent invasion of her Portland home in 2010. To this day, her homicide remains unsolved.

Marsy’s Law for Maine, if approved by Maine legislators and then by Maine voters, will ensure crime victims in our state have equal rights to those accused or convicted of the crimes against them – nothing more, nothing less. Crime victims deserve the rights this initiative will afford them, such as the right to be notified of proceedings in our cases, to timely notification of the release of the accused or convicted, and to be heard by the court.

Equal rights are incredibly meaningful to victims like me and my family. We finally will have a voice and feel like participants in our cases, not like mere bystanders, as we have often felt in the criminal justice system since Darien’s murder. Crime victims in 35 other states are afforded these common-sense rights, and I believe it is time to bring them to Maine.

As Cumberland County chairman for Marsy’s Law for Maine and an advocate for crime victims since my daughter’s murder, I hope you will join me in supporting this important effort. Please contact your state legislators to let them know you, too, stand behind Marsy’s Law for Maine. Together, we can make equal rights for crime victims a reality in Maine.

Judi Richardson South Portland

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