A man who attacked a woman outside a San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit station last July will not have to go to jail despite the victim receiving an apology from prosecutors on Monday for violating her rights in the case.
A San Francisco crime victim whose rights were violated when her attacker was released without her knowledge will get her day in court, after all.
In response to this special series, San Francisco’s Presiding Judge and the state’s Chief Justice are both recommending reforms. KCBS has also learned that one Bay Area district attorney, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, is taking it even one step further, training his attorneys to observe a victim’s Marsy’s rights, even if the victim doesn’t ask for them to be honored.
In response to a KCBS investigation into the violation of victims’ rights in California, the presiding judge in San Francisco is recommending new procedures for the courts to follow. KCBS’ Doug Sovern reports exclusively that the state’s Chief Justice is also asking judges in other counties to consider doing the same.
A KCBS investigation has determined that the rights of California crime victims are often ignored, despite the passage five years ago of a landmark law to protect them.
Crime victims rarely invoke the rights afforded to them under Marsy’s Law, and California prosecutors often ignore those who do insist on the protections that law enshrines in the state constitution.
Under Marsy’s Law, a crime victim in California has the right to be notified of all legal proceedings in a case and address the judge before a defendant makes a plea or is sentenced. All too often, however, victims never get their day in court.
Five years ago, California voters amended the state constitution to create a Victim’s Bill of Rights. But the case of a San Francisco woman, who was attacked outside a BART station, raises questions about how well that law is working. And, an investigation by KCBS reporter Doug Sovern suggests this is not an isolated case.