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Letter: Statutory fix for victims is inadequate


Thursday, April 26, 2018

In my law enforcement career, I have seen how difficult it is for victims to come forward. It is often traumatic and emotional to muster the courage to come forward. They are also sometimes treated poorly by the justice system, as their statutory “rights” are not always upheld. Many have come forward to tell their stories to legislators. Now they want voters to decide on CACR 22. Opponents seek to stop the public from voting on it.

Some have suggested statutory “fixes.” That is clearly inadequate. Constitutional rights outweigh statutory rights. Further amending the statute in lieu of providing crime victims with constitutional rights may seem to help but ignores the real needs of victims.

The attorney general has offered language to deal with issues raised by opponents and craft a New Hampshire solution. However, that is not enough for some opponents. Some, who would deny privacy for victims, hypocritically hide behind an anonymous website. A site that does not say who is funding their effort to deny New Hampshire voters their voice.

No less than 35 other states have victims’ rights in their constitutions. More states are voting this year, too. Contact your representatives and tell them you want an opportunity to have your voice heard with your constitutionally protected vote. Tell them to vote in favor of CACR 22 so you can cast that vote.

ANDREW SHAGOURY

Tuftonboro

(The writer is chief of the Tuftonboro police and president of the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police.)