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Crime Victims

NEWS
February 1, 2011
A major overhaul of court procedures ordered by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille and his colleagues represents a leap forward for crime victims in Philadelphia. Rather than require victims to testify at all preliminary hearings, the high court freed prosecutors to rely on police testimony in cases involving car thefts, burglaries, other serious property crimes, and fraud. The justices also are making their first concerted effort to school county judges in ways to shield witnesses so that courts can get to the truth.
NEWS
May 1, 1994 | By David Rohde, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
A social service agency that began 20 years ago as an effort to aid rape victims is now trying to stop crime before it happens. The Network of Victim Assistance (NOVA), a nonprofit agency that broadened its operation to provide services to all crime victims in 1982, is developing two programs targeting potential offenders and potential victims. "We've always been committed to prevention," said Ellen Y. Brown, director of community relations and development for NOVA. "We're just moving into some new areas.
NEWS
July 9, 1996
More than 10 million Americans a year are victims of violent crime. The court system cannot undo their suffering, but it mustn't compound it either. Crime victims deserve to be treated with compassion and respect. That means keeping them informed, hearing them out - and truly weighing their point of view. Most states have passed laws or constitutional amendments along these lines. But groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving say that's not enough. They want to write such rights into the U.S. Constitution.
NEWS
April 19, 1986
The victims of crimes or witnesses to them will have a safe place in which to await their day in court sometime this summer, thanks to the concerted effort of Philadelphia women's advocacy groups and city officials. Space has been located on the first floor of City Hall for a Victim-Witness Waiting Room and arrangements are under way to relocate the current occupants and furnish the new facility. At present, crime victims and witnesses have no choice but to wait in hallways outside the courtrooms.
NEWS
July 8, 2011 | By Mari A. Schaefer, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The Delaware County District Attorney's Office has agreed to compensate a Trainer man for damage to his home that occurred when a SWAT team attempted to capture killer Mark Geisenheyner there Monday. Geisenheyner had gone to the home of Gary Krobath, a friend, after shooting five people Saturday night in a Douglass Township, Montgomery County, farmhouse. Three of those people have died. Krobath tipped off police to Geisenheyner's presence at his home, triggering a seven-hour standoff that ended with Geisenheyner's death and extensive damage to Krobath's rented property.
NEWS
July 9, 2011 | By Mari A. Schaefer, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Delaware County District Attorney's Office has agreed to compensate a Trainer man for damage to his home that occurred when a SWAT team attempted to capture killer Mark Geisenheyner there Monday. Geisenheyner had gone to the home of Gary Krobath, a friend, after shooting five people Saturday night in a Douglass Township, Montgomery County, farmhouse. Three of those people have died. Krobath tipped off police to Geisenheyner's presence at his home, triggering a seven-hour standoff that ended with Geisenheyner's death and extensive damage to Krobath's rented property.
NEWS
January 14, 2005 | By Leslie A. Pappas INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Debbie Robinson, who has had cerebral palsy since birth, knew that the man who used to visit was a family friend. Only after years of intensive therapy did she realize that he had sexually abused her. "I blamed myself for a lot of years," she said. "I felt dirty and I couldn't wash it off. " Robinson, 44, is part of a silent, largely invisible group of crime victims: people who have cognitive or physical disabilities. Studies show that the 54 million Americans who live with a disability are victimized far more frequently than the general population.
NEWS
September 19, 1993 | By Vernon Loeb, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Ellen Levin described her "horrible introduction" to the justice system as she sat day by day through the trial of the man sent to prison five years ago for murdering her daughter in New York City's "Preppie Murder Case. " Deborah Spungen asked for the "right to be heard" as she described her feelings after the murder of her daughter 15 years ago at the hands of punk- rock star Sid Vicious. Connie Clery broke down momentarily at the very thought of her daughter, brutally murdered seven years ago by a fellow student at Lehigh University.
NEWS
October 19, 2010 | By JAN RANSOM, ransomj@phillynews.com 215-854-5218
HOME-INVASION robberies, besides leading to lost possessions or physical injury, also take a psychological toll on victims and neighborhoods, experts say. And the residential robberies happen more often than you might think. There have been more than 700 in the city every year since 2005, and less than half have resulted in arrests. "When your main base of safety is taken away from you, it feels like no place is safe," said psychologist Robin Lowey, who has worked with crime victims for 20 years.
NEWS
December 22, 1998 | By Michael Matza, Mark Fazlollah and Craig R. McCoy, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
It's official: William Johnson was beaten up. Nine months after the South Philadelphia man was pummeled by a group of assailants on a deserted Old City parking lot, the Philadelphia Police Department is prepared to say he was a victim. Johnson's arm was broken in two places and doctors needed eight stitches to close cuts in his face. Yet police classified the incident as a "hospital case," meaning no crime had occurred, rather than as an assault. The distinction is important because the state program that compensates crime victims for medical bills and other costs assists only those who can supply evidence of a crime, such as a police report.
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