Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Victims and Victims

Corey Rayburn Yung at Sex Crimes Blog makes a good catch of a statement from the mother of Jacob Wetterling of sex offender registry and “Jacob’s Law” fame. She’s read the recent Human Right Watch critique of our counterproductive sex offender laws of the last decade and pleads with us to get our eyes back on the prize, stopping victimization, not creating worse conditions that make increased victimization more likely. I’ve said frequently that, like “good” and “bad” prosecutors, there are “good” and “bad” victims and victims groups. When ALL victims are consulted, you get very different views of what our policies should be than when you just listen to the loud and personal-agenda driven ones who get in front of cameras regularly. My experience as a victim of the Oklahoma City bombing showed me that, as did my fortunate time spent on the exec board of probably the best victims’ organization in the country a few years back. We’ve come a long way in bringing the victim into the process and trying to restore them and prevent more. But we still need better mechanisms and a broader outreach to make sure that we’re actually representing ALL victims and not just the ones whose need for retribution coincides, usually only temporarily, with the ideological and political agendas of some policymakers, who oddly don’t think much of Jacob’s mom’s opinions when they don’t match those agendas anymore.

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