|For Immediate Release
April 14, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
OCDA’S 3RD ANNUAL VICTIMS’ RIGHTS MARCH & RALLY DRAWS OVER 400 TO HONOR
CRIME VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS
SANTA ANA – The Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) hosted the 3rd Annual Victims’ Rights March & Rally today in remembrance of murdered victims, in celebration of surviving victims, and in honor of victims’ rights. Over 400 victims, family, friends, law enforcement, and community leaders marched from the District Attorney’s Office to the Old Orange County Courthouse in Santa Ana and laid flowers at the foot of a memorial wreath to honor and celebrate the lives of murdered and surviving victims.
The Orange County Victims’ Rights March & Rally was established in 2009 after almost two decades of legal efforts to secure the rights of crime victims. In 1990, Proposition 115 increased defendant sentences and decreased the number of times a victim had to testify. In 1996, Megan’s Law required sex offender registration and gave parents and the community access to sex offender residence addresses in their neighborhoods. In 2000, Proposition 21 increased the punishments for serious and dangerous gang crimes. In 2004, Proposition 69 required felony arrestees to submit a DNA sample and Proposition 66, which would have allowed the release of dangerous third-strikers, was defeated. In 2006, Proposition 83, or Jessica’s Law, instituted mandatory 15 years to life sentences for certain serious sex offenses against children. In 2008, Marsy’s Law codified victims’ rights into the California Constitution. The OCDA is continuing to work on local ordinances and State legislation to further protect the community and prevent new victims.
“We in law enforcement and public life dedicate our service to all those harmed by crime to bring justice, to fight your fight, and to defend your rights,” stated Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “Every year, we will work together to assert our rights and protect our community. We will do it locally, as we did with the sex offender ordinance to keep predators out of County parks, and we will take leadership in the State to keep sexually violent predators off our streets.”
The March & Rally included reception welcome remarks by United States Attorney Andŕe Birotte Jr., Presentation of the Colors by the Santa Ana Police Department Honor Guard, Pledge of Allegiance by Orange Police Chief and President of the Orange County Police Chiefs’ and Sheriff’s Association Robert Gustafson, National Anthem by Deputy District Attorney Charlyn Bender, Moment of Silence by Joyful Child Foundation founder Erin Runnion, and Proclamation Presentation by Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson. Seven high school students were recognized for their submission to the Victims’ Rights art or essay contest and the two first place winners were awarded $200 Savings Bonds.
The keynote speakers were Elaina Kroll, a survivor of sexual assault, and Lance Frazee, father of murder victim Mackenzie Frazee. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse by her church choir director, Kroll is the founder and CEO of the Innocence Mission, which works to educate parents and community members about the danger of child sexual assault and empower survivors to report abuse to stop the cycle of sex crimes against children. Frazee’s 16-year-old daughter Mackenzie was murdered by a 17-year-old drunken driver.