For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
OCDA’S FOURTH ANNUAL VICTIMS’ RIGHTS MARCH & RALLY DRAWS OVER 400 TO HONOR CRIME VICTIMS
SANTA ANA – The Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) hosted the 4th 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.
“As a community of survivors, we are going to take our grief, turn it into anger, and turn that anger into action,” stated Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “There will always be more of us than criminals, and we are never going to stop working to protect others from suffering as we did, and prevent them from hurting more innocent victims.”
“Events like this are critical because they demonstrate that crime victims are not alone – but are instead part of a comprehensive public and private support system that includes family members, victims’ advocacy services and law enforcement,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. “And nowhere is that more true than here in Orange County.”
The March & Rally included reception welcome remarks and the Pledge of Allegiance by United States Attorney André Birotte Jr., remarks by Executive Officer of the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board Julie Nauman, Presentation of the Colors by the Santa Ana Police Department Honor Guard, National Anthem by Deputy District Attorney Anna Chinowth, Moment of Silence by Vice-Chair of the California State Board of Equalization Michelle Park Steel, and Proclamation Presentation by Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson.