Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Marsy's Law In Action

“Marsy’s Law” otherwise known as California’s Proposition 9: The Victims Bill of Rights, was passed by voters November 4, 2008, giving all crime victims and their families rights and due process.

An example of Marsy’s Law in use was August 30, 2013 regarding the People v. Scott Dekraai. Dekraai is accused of the Seal Beach salon shooting nearly two(2) years ago.

Police say Dekraai was seeking revenge on his ex-wife, Michelle Fournier, on October 12, 2011, when he walked into Salon Meritage and opened fire. The couple was involved in a custody dispute, and Michelle Fournier was an employee at the salon. Dekraii is charged with eight counts of special circumstances murder (which seeks the death penalty), and one count of attempted murder.

At a pre-trial conference, family members urged Judge Goethals to end their “agony” by requiring the defendant to stand trial this fall. Under Marsy’s Law the family members of the victims are able to address the judge and request the judge to deny any further continuances from the defense.

“This needs to move on and we need to be allowed to heal,” stated Paul Wilson, whose wife Christy, was among those killed. At least three other family members of shooting victims addressed the court before Judge Goethal’s made his decision of whether to continue the trial date of November. Family members have been present at every court hearing since the shootings wearing blue wrist bands that say “support in love seal beach.”

Judge Goethals expressed sympathy for the families, but said his responsibility was to balance the rights of both sides. He agreed with the defense that rushing could ultimately result in a second trial.

"We will continue to move forward as steadfastly as we can," he said.

If you or someone you know is a victim of  a crime and would like representation contact Katie Walsh at (714) 619-9355