Skip to comments.Criminals’ Rights vs. Victims’ Rights
Posted on 08/01/2012 5:23:57 AM PDT by SJackson
After 17-year old, Savannah Dietrich, was sexually assaulted last year, the two criminals who attacked her circulated the pictures they had taken of her to their friends. After the assault, she did the right thing. She reported the incident and these guys were arrested.
What happened next is not surprising to me.
They cut a deal and pleaded guilty to first-degree sexual abuse and voyeurism. The terms of the plea bargain are not known but Savannah felt the agreement was too lenient and a mere slap on the wrist. So, when the court ordered her dont talk about it, or risk 180 days in prison and a $500 fine, she, in my mind, again, did the right and gutsy thing.
First, Dietrich cried. Then, she logged online. There you go, lock me up, she tweeted to a couple hundred Twitter followers, outing her assailants by name. Im not protecting anyone that made my life a living Hell. These men had made their assault on her public. Now, they had convinced a court to keep it all under wraps. If reporting a rape only got me to the point that Im not allowed to talk about it, then I regret it, she wrote in a note on her Facebook wall. I regret reporting it.
Yes, she violated a court order; yes, she knew what the consequences would be. Of course, charges of contempt were brought against her but were eventually dropped. But, I say, good for her!
Ive represented hundreds of kids, who were victims of abuse and neglect over my 8-year stint as an attorney in dependency court, but I see absolutely no reason and, believe me, Ive heard all the arguments to protect the identity of teenagers who commit these type of heinous crimes.
Anyone so concerned about concealing the identities of these criminals can explain to me why Savannahs identity is allowed to be published all over the internet by her assailants but theirs are cloaked in confidentiality.
The attackers attorneys allege that Savannah had no right to name her attackers in public.
Why shouldnt other young women in Savannahs school and community know the names of these men who attacked her? Why arent women potential victims being informed? Dont they have a right to know they could be living next door to a rapist or that one of them is actually a classmate?
Here are Savannahs own words: The laws that protect criminals shouldnt cross over and take away victims rights. Victims rights should come first. And thank you.
Protecting criminals identities I dont get it, but if you do, God bless you.
Something serious needs to happen to any judge who destroys the first amendment rights of a victim.
This has to stop. Our government in almost every arena of our lives is issuing too many unconstitutional GAG orders aimed squarely at victims or completely innocent people.
This is OUR government damn it and we need to take it back by any means legally possible from the ruling class.
The courts are complicit in this attack on our freedoms with their constant support for the government.
According to numerous reports online, the rapists are named Will Frey and Austin Zehnder. I think it’s worth keeping their names in the story.
I see, based on the article you linked to, that the sleazy defense attorneys (redundant I know) for the 2 rapists withdrew their request for a contempt of court action after the media shined a light on these cockroaches.
If only the media would shine a light on all the cockroaches in the White Hut.
Why was it possible for a prosecutor to cut a deal with the rapists, and for the judge to approve it, despite the vehement opposition of the victim? Does the state where this occurred have any sort of Victim’s Rights laws to stop this sort of thing? If not, they need to change their “Justice System” to require consideration of victim input in plea deals.
Whatever punishment the rapists received in this case is not revealed — I presume it is so minimal that the court prefers to keep it hidden. What are the ages of the perpetrators? If the victim is seventeen, it seems unlikely that the rapists are much younger. Plenty old to be charged as adults, instead of getting a deal where their recotrds will be sealed at 21. Did these felons receive special treatment? Court appointed attorneys usually don’t have extra time to pursue their client’s “privacy rights”. Did Mommy and Daddums intervene to protect their little angels?
Good for her on letting the community know about the perps. The court and the judge do deserve contempt since the judge’s ruling and backpedaling showed contempt to the sex assault victim.
Our FR lawyers can explain it better if any show up, but it’s my understanding that the offense, rape, is against the state, not the victim. Who has no real say in disposition, other than “courtesy” provided the victim. Glad she spoke out. And, of course, who could pursue the matter civally.
Yes, they names should be out there, thank you.
I understand how the law works in this regard, and believe that in theory things should be that way. I also realize that victims might never be satisfied, no matter how draconian the sentence in relation to the crime, and we do not know all the facts in this case. My beef is that the evolution of criminal “justice” in America has favored the ever-expanding interests of actual offenders, the institutional interests of prosecutors and lawyers, and the public’s desire to escape the enormous costs requisite for actual trials and full sentences, to create an inherent imbalance in many court proceedings, a huge appetite for plea bargains, reduced sentences, and resulting systemic failure. The court is neutral, the prosecutor represents the State, the accused have lawyers and rights, but the victims are mostly unrepresented, as if they have no further interest.
Our chaotic, schlerotic, grossly inefficient, overwhelmed system produces neither “Justice” nor protects the public, and is in dire need of reform. The practices of sealing records, placing gag orders, hiding some very adult crimes behind “juvenile offender” protections, etc., prevent the public from knowing what is happening, and thus from advocating reform at the political level.
No question that the criminal’s rights, and they have expanded mightly, are the focus of the system. The victim, largely an afterthought. Unless there’s a lucrative civil action, in which case the system, aka tort lawyers, will be all over them. Plea bargains seem to be the system, and imo are a result of the costly delays brought on by the accused’s rights and their extensions. I’ve no problem with a right to a speedy trial, but nowhere do I see a right to a delayed trial. Which I think frequently stands in the way of justice, a verdict reached in the memory span of the members of the community. Crimes like the shootings at Ft Hood, or CO, how long should it take to bring those cases to trial? Weeks, or a couple months would seem reasonable to me. As to the “protections”, imo there should be none in the case of convictions.
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