|For Immediate Release
April 26, 2013
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
Cell: 714-292-2718 Farrah Emami
OCDA’S 5th ANNUAL VICTIMS’ RIGHTS MARCH & RALLY DRAWS OVER 450 TO HONOR CRIME VICTIMS
SANTA ANA – The Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) hosted the 5th Annual Victims’ Rights March & Rally today in remembrance of murdered victims, in celebration of surviving victims, and in honor of victims’ rights. Over 450 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.
This year, the OCDA announced the launch of the OCDA’s HEAT Unit, or Human Exploitation and Trafficking Unit, which will use a four-pronged tactical plan to target the perpetrators of human trafficking and exploitation using new legal tools available under California’s new Proposition 35, or the Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act, passed in November 2012. The tactical plan, PERP, will focus on Prosecution, Education, Resources, and Publicity. To read more about the OCDA’s HEAT Unit, visit www.orangecountyda.com and select from the homepage under Press Releases/Media Advisories the April 26, 2013, press releases titled, “OCDA to Put Their ‘HEAT’ on Slave-Owner Perps.”
“We are a community of survivors, and there will always be more of us than criminals. We are never going to stop working to protect others from suffering, and we will continue to stand up for victims – of human trafficking, murder, sexual assault, and all the crimes that you are here speaking out against today,” stated Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “This process is not a choice, it’s a promise, and we will not easily be deterred as long as there are new victims and new crimes.”
The March & Rally included a Presentation of the Colors by the Santa Ana Police Department Honor Guard, Pledge of Allegiance by Senator Lou Correa, 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 acknowledgement of victims’ rights organizations by State Senator Mimi Walters.