The crime victim’s reaction to today’s Supreme Court decision

April 23

The Supreme Court has just released its decision in the Paroline case earlier this morning.  I’m working on a longer post about the decision, but my co-counsel (James Marsh) and I have just had a chance to communicate with our client, Amy.  Here is her reaction:

“I am surprised and confused by the Court’s decision today.  I really don’t understand where this leaves me and other victims who now have to live with trying to get restitution probably for the rest of our lives. The Supreme Court said we should keep going back to the district courts over and over again but that’s what I have been doing for almost six years now. It’s crazy that people keep committing this crime year after year and now victims like me have to keep reliving it year after year. I’m not sure how this decision helps anyone to really know if, when, and how restitution will ever be paid to kids and other victims of this endless crime. I see that the Court said I should get full restitution ‘someday,’ I just wonder when that day will be and how long I and Vicky and other victims will have to wait for justice.”

I share many of Amy’s concerns and will be blogging about the details of the  Court’s opinion soon. As Amy has recognized, the Supreme Court’s split-the-difference ruling promises her that she will receive full restitution “someday.”  I just wonder how far in the future that someday will be.  The battle for full restitution will now shift to Congress, which will have the last word on how restitution in these cases should be awarded.

 

Paul G. Cassell teaches criminal law, criminal procedure, and crime victims' rights at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah.
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