Victims’ Revenge Rights

Victims rights are hugely popular now and very politically correct. For instance, in Nevada the law provides for victims to be “heard at all proceedings for the sentencing or release of a convicted person after trial,” where a victim is defined as anyone with a direct family relationship with the actual victim; the accused’s family has no such rights. That’s blatantly unfair. Can’t that be challenged in the courts?

And Nancy Reagan spoke out against the decision to allow John Hinckley unsupervised visits with his parents, referring to Jim Brady and the pain he still lives in; Michael Reagan called the decision an “outrage”, managing to toss in a demeaning insult relating to the age of Hinckley’s parents (they’re in their 80’s).

Why does Nancy Reagan care? Or Michael? If they think Hinckley is a danger to themselves or society, then they’re going against the expert opinion of five psychiatrists, including two hired by the government. No, what they want is revenge, pure and simple. He shot their husband/dad so he should stay in prison forever and not even get the chance to make day trips with his parents. Lock him up and throw away the key.

To me it’s weird that the media never calls to task any of these victims on their obvious thirst for revenge. Can’t our fearless commentators just come out and point out the truth that these people simply can’t get over it and need counseling? The same goes double for victim’s families who hunger after revenge in the form of legalized murder of the criminal. In Bob’s ideal world, the law guaranteeing them the right to be heard at the sentencing hearing would also require the judge to order them to counseling if they appeared to have become psychologically unbalanced with a rabid desire for revenge.

Yes, I know the victims feel pain. But the law provides objective guidelines for punishment proportional to the gravity of the crime already. We certainly we can’t let the degree of the victim’s pain determine the punishment meted out to the perpetrator.

The trend now is to make your point by giving a new name to the topic you are discussing. In that light, I humbly propose that “Victim’s Rights” be renamed “Victim’s Revenge Rights”.

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