Mom of Murder Victim Supports Victims’ Rights Bill

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KANSAS CITY — The mother of a Kansas City murder victim has joined a national effort to add a crime victims’ rights amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Chris Bartholomew was 21-years-old when he was killed by a stray bullet in Westport five years ago.

Now, his mom is pushing House-Joint-Resolution 106 which is a federal amendment that has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. It would give victims guaranteed rights under the U.S. Constitution.

“The right to know when your trials are, when trial dates are, the right to give a victim impact statement, right to a speedy trial,” said Misty Kirwin, mother of murder victim.

Kirwan says family members of victims also want the right to be consulted about plea deals. She says supporters of the amendment currently have nearly 20 cosponsors in the U.S. House but they need at least 100.

Critics of the amendment raise concerns about its unintended consequences and point out that criminal proceedings are designed to focus on guilt or innocence and not advocacy for victims.

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