April 22, 2000
If ever there was a likely booster for the cause of empowering crime victims, it's Bud Welch of Oklahoma City. After his 23-year-old daughter, Julie, perished in the 1995 federal building bombing there, Mr. Welch recalls wanting to see the co-conspirators "fried" rather than tried in court. But the latest push in Congress to enshrine a victims' bill of rights in the U.S. Constitution does not enjoy Bud Welch's support. Nor does it have the backing of numerous groups equally as concerned as Mr. Welch with seeking justice for victims.
October 23, 1998 |
Voters who want to fight crime and help crime victims should vote on Nov. 3 in favor of the proposed constitutional amendment giving prosecutors the right to ask for jury trials. The foundation of America's criminal justice system is the right to a trial by jury. And crime victims, as much as criminals, sometimes cannot get a fair trial without a jury. Recently in Montgomery County, a defendant pummeled his girlfriend's 7-year old, crushing her pancreas and splitting her colon, hospitalizing her for 28 days.
July 18, 1994 |
Juveniles are suffering terribly from the national plague of violence, a new government study indicates. In 1992, 1.55 million violent crimes were committed against people ages 12 to 17, the Justice Department reported yesterday. That was a 23 percent increase from five years before. Although juveniles accounted for only one-tenth of the population 12 and older, they were the victims of nearly a quarter of the 6.62 million rapes, robberies and assaults committed in 1992, the report said.
October 20, 2010 |
THE PROBLEM: Last month, Louis Jargow was stabbed as he was walking home from work. He doesn't completely remember what happened, but he thinks someone came up from behind, stabbed him in the side and took the iPhone he was carrying - leaving him bleeding face-down on the ground somewhere near his West Philly apartment. He managed to stumble to his girlfriend's place. She called the police. Thankfully, Jargow turned out to be OK. He was released from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania a few days later.
December 16, 2001 |
In November 1995, Blaine Rosenberg watched as Charles E. Reddish was brought into a Camden courtroom, where he was charged with strangling Rosenberg's half-sister and leaving her body in a field of weeds along Route 130 in Salem County. "He was less than six feet away from me," Rosenberg recalled, "the man who supposedly killed my kid sister. I had two choices: to jump over the bench and tackle him . . . or sit there and sob like crazy. I did that. " Linda Burkett, coordinator of the Camden County Prosecutor's Office of Victim-Witness Advocacy, sat with him then, and she would sit next to him later during Reddish's trial, which ended with his conviction in October.
April 22, 2009 |
Betty Love saw her daughter in a hospital bed, bandages barely covering the 19 stab wounds on her face and body. Love wanted to kiss her, but couldn't. A cocoon of tubing kept her away. Nearly a decade has passed, but Love still pictures Kim in that hospital bed, pleading with her mother, though her lips are still. "Her eyes were glaring at me with confidence as if to say, 'Mom, fix it; you can make everything all right,' " says Love, a Gloucester County resident who retired from a purchasing job with the City of Philadelphia.
April 23, 1996 |
Facing increased public concern with crime, 20 states have amended their constitutions to make clear that those accused of criminal behavior aren't the only ones with rights. Crime victims have rights, too, the states have declared. Now, there's a move in Congress to amend the U.S. Constitution as well. Backed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry J. Hyde (R., Ill.), a constitutional amendment was introduced yesterday that would spell out rights for victims of violent crimes - such as the right to object to plea bargains or to early releases from prison.
April 18, 1994 |
For a few days last year, Linda Kleer's daughter Jennifer was by her side again. That's how the Mount Laurel woman felt, anyway, as she lovingly stitched a pink heart with the words Love you guys, one of 18-year-old Jennifer's favorite phrases, on a white cloth square. For although Jennifer Borgese Pheiffer had been shot to death by an abusive boyfriend two years earlier, Kleer felt as if her daughter "was right there with me" while she crafted her contribution to a memorial quilt for Burlington County residents whose lives ended much too soon.
January 31, 2000 |
Judge Donald P. Gaydos agonized when he had to sentence first-time offenders in Burlington County Superior Court. "I take no joy in sentencing you," he would say, brow furrowed, to defendants who had admitted to murder, sex crimes, drug dealing. "They are sad cases," he would say afterward. Now, after 16 years as a judge, Gaydos, 66, is retiring. He will leave the county bench Feb. 9. Those who worked with him say he will be remembered for being fair, though his empathy for first-time offenders earned him the ire of some victims.
February 14, 1993 |
Personal-safety trainer Gary Denney asked everyone in the group before him to point to someone who could be a victim of crime. Fingers pointed everywhere as the real estate agents who work for Richard A. Weidel Corp. in Bucks County each pointed to somebody else. "The men pointed to the women. The women pointed to somebody else," Denney said. "But you all should have pointed to yourselves!" They laughed apprehensively, knowing that what Denney said was true. Real estate agents, say police, personal-safety experts and even agents themselves, are a vulnerable group, escorting total strangers to houses, often driving around alone at night, and sitting alone at open houses.