Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Victim Gets His Say - At My Expense

The CrimProf Blog posted here about an interesting case from the U.S. Court of Appeals - Ninth Circuit concerning the rights of a crime victim (W.Patrick Kenna) to say his piece during the sentencing phase of a federal criminal trial. This case was interesting in light of the discussion we had last month here and here about crime victims getting too much power in the criminal justice system.

The amazing thing about the Kenna case was the appeal rights granted to the victim. Apparently, Kenna was not allowed to make a statement concerning the effects of the crime during the sentencing of the defendant. After the federal judge refused to let Kenna speak (the judge had heard the crime victims speak at an earlier hearing), Kenna was accorded an appeal to the Ninth Circuit.

I wonder who spent time writing the brief and who paid for the court reporter's transcript? Who advised the victim of his appeal rights and preserved the error? This is a potentially objectionable use of my taxpayer dollars to give crime victims an attempt at "closure" following a criminal prosecution. I'm note sure I agree with it.

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