Victim’s rights bill signed

TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie signed the victims of crime legislation sponsored by the late Assemblyman Alex DeCroce. Sign Up

TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie signed the victims of crime legislation sponsored by the late Assemblyman Alex DeCroce.

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Christie said today that the signing of the bill honors the leadership and legacy of DeCroce, (R-26), who died in the Statehouse in January after a lengthy voting session. His wife, BettyLou, who took over DeCroce’s mostly Morris County district, was at the signing ceremony.

The governor said the bill honors the late lawmaker “in a way that he wanted to be honored, which is substance.”

“He became a pioneer in this movement early in his career,” he said. “Putting my name now (on the bill) is definitely a highlight for this governorship. He was a mentor to me.”

The bill, A2380, expands the crime victim’s legislation, which voters approved in 1991. The provisions include:

·Expanding and clarifying that victims have the right to be free from harassment and abuse by any person, including the defendant or any person acting on behalf of the defendant;

·Medical care is provided to the victim as it relates to the incident.

·Timely notification ensuring victims of the case progress and scheduling of court proceedings;

·Notification of the release or escape of the defendant;

·Consideration of victims’ statements in pre-trial determinations and plea agreements and the right to be present at open court proceedings, unless sequestered;

·Allowing victims’ families in homicide prosecutions to display pictures of the victim during sentencing statements.

In defense of the bill signing, Christie said such a bill is needed because some victims can still “fall through the cracks” within the criminal justice system.

 

Victim’s rights bill signed