Friday, June 24, 2016

Victim Rights Act Subcommittee of DCJ Discusses Difficult Case

(LAKEWOOD, Colo. - JUNE 24, 2016) The Victim Rights Act Subcommittee of the Colorado Crime Victim Services Advisory Board met today to consider a complaint filed by several victims of the 2012 Aurora theater shooting.

The victims have family members who were murdered by the inmate, and upon his sentencing, they registered with the Victim Services Unit of the Department of Corrections (DOC) to receive notification of any changes to his status, as outlined in the Colorado Victim Rights Act. The victims filed a Request for Compliance with the Victim Rights Act Subcommittee claiming that the DOC moved the offender out of state and failed to notify them of his new location, and that this is a violation of their rights under the Victim Rights Act.

After carefully reviewing Colorado statutes and the information submitted by the victims and DOC, the Subcommittee chair moved to find that there is a basis in fact for the victims’ allegations that the DOC was not acting in compliance with the Colorado Victim Rights Act. The motion failed 3-3. Any proposed reconsideration will be governed by the Subcommittee’s policies and procedures (see attached).

The Subcommittee also determined that there were additional concerns brought up by their review of the case. The members unanimously voted to send a formal request for information to the DOC relating to allegations that the agency failed to treat victims with fairness, respect and dignity during the victim notification process. Both the DOC will have the opportunity to submit information related to the allegation, and victims will have the opportunity to review the information submitted and reply to the DOC’s response.

The Subcommittee will discuss the additional allegations at a future standing Subcommittee meeting, likely in August. To view the meeting schedule or to find out more about the Crime Victim Services Advisory Board, the Victim Rights Act Subcommittee, or the rights of victims under Colorado law, please visit https://sites.google.com/a/state.co.us/department-of-criminal-justice/home.

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