Anti-Crime Legislation Passes Congress /(Op) Is help on the way for innocents in jail? Or is this y
Subject:Anti-Crime Legislation Passes Congress /(Op) Is help on the way for innocents in jail? Or is this yet another terrible trick upon us?
Date:10/9/2004 3:35:33 PM Eastern Standard Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)
I Want Justice! Mailing List - http://www.crosswinds.net/~informapauperis
At first glance, the news contained in the article below is great
Is it really though?
I am unable to check this out, so if there are any members who are inclined to dissect the legislation, please post your thoughts at the LegalRemedies Forum, link about middle of my webpage at http://informapauperis.crosswinds.net and send me a copy that I can copy/paste and send out to the members.
Also, who voted for and against this legislation, and what were their reasons?
Dissecting this legislation is critical. I would like to be pleased that this legislation has been enacted. But I am very concerned that this legislation might be yet another hollow victory which will deny any further review of innocents in jail. I get the terrible feeling that is what might happen. I hope I am wrong. I need help understanding it
Is help on the way for innocents in jail? Or is this yet another terrible trick upon us?
Hope this helps.
alan joseph samson
I Want Justice! Webring - Ringmaster
Anti-Crime Legislation Passes Congress
Senators Reach Agreement on DNA and Victims' Rights Bill Without Objection
Spokespeople Available Including Legislative Staff,
1st DNA Exoneree Kirk Bloodsworth & Debbie Smith, Rape Survivor
WASHINGTON, October 9, 2004 - The US Senate today passed by voice vote an amended version of the "Justice for All Act of 2004" (HR 5107). This anti-crime bill includes the "Advancing Justice Through DNA Technology Act" (HR 3214/S 1700) and crime victims' rights legislation. The amended bill will be sent back to the US House of Representatives for final approval. This amendment has already been agreed upon in negotiations between the House and Senate.
The legislation provides much-needed funds to test a nationwide backlog of more than 300,000 rape kits and other crime scene evidence, funding for victims' services through grants to prosecutor and defender offices, ensures access to post-conviction DNA testing for those serving time in prison or on death row for crimes they did not commit, and it authorizes grants to states to improve the quality of death penalty trials as well as assist families of murder victims.
"I commend the Members of Congress who voted today to make the justice system more fair and more accurate for everyone," says Kirk Bloodsworth of The Justice Project, whose case was the first capital conviction to be overturned as a result of DNA testing. "Today's passage is an important step in fixing a flawed system. I hope the President will make justice a priority and sign this important legislation into law."
The bipartisan legislation has enjoyed the support of dozens of leaders from the victims' rights community, who endorse both the Debbie Smith Backlog Grant and the Kirk Bloodsworth Post-Conviction DNA Testing Programs.
"I couldn't be happier to hear this news," says Debbie Smith, a Virginia rape survivor who waited six years for the evidence in her rape kit to be tested. "Americans, especially victims and those wrongfully convicted, need to have confidence in our justice system. This bill will give states the funding they need to serve justice more quickly and accurately."
# # #
About the Justice for All Act of 2004 (HR 5107):
Two core components include:
Crime Victims' Rights:
This portion of the bill provides substantive rights for crime victims, as well as mechanisms to enforce these rights. It also authorizes $155 million in funding over the next five years for victims' assistance programs at the Federal and state level, including victim/witness assistance programs at the offices of the United States Attorneys, enhancement of the victim notification system at the Department of Justice, organizations that provide legal counsel and support services for victims, and creation of state-of-the-art victims' rights laws and compliance systems in the states. This component of the bill includes provisions very similar to S 2329, the victims' rights bill sponsored by Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), which in April 2004 passed the Senate by a wide margin.
The Advancing Justice Through DNA Technology Act (HR 3214 / S1700) is the product of a bi-partisan, bicameral compromise led by Senate Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatc