CHICAGO, June 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The United States Supreme Court issued its ruling today in the Miller v. Alabama and Jackson v. Hobbs cases. The National Organization of Victims of Juvenile Lifers (NOVJL), which filed an amicus brief, issued these statements:
"This ruling invalidating the life sentences of many of our family members' murder cases comes against the backdrop of tragedy. While we understand the tragic consequences to the killers, the entire context of this decision is first and foremost the appalling and senseless murders of our innocent loved ones and the devastation left behind," said Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins, NOVJL President. "Everyone's biggest concern now must be finding, notifying and supporting the many affected victims' families."
"The deluge of litigation, legislation and resentencing that has been opened today by the Court will rip up the legal finality that family members have relied on. We will have to go back to court and re-engage with the offenders who ruined our lives. We walked away from these sentences believing that part of our ordeal was over. Many did not register for victim notification and may be difficult to find. Many did not retain records that they might now need, raising due process and victims' rights concerns," said Jody Robinson of NOVJL Michigan.
"Victims' family members whose cases have been reopened by this decision will need resources devoted to supporting them through this process. We call on everyone involved to gather all stakeholders to devise a system that can best serve not only the offenders, but also victims and the public," said Bobbi Jamriska of NOVJL Pennsylvania.
Bishop-Jenkins added, "NOVJL wants to work with all parties to see that reforms are ultimately enacted in ways that protect everyone. We urge the juvenile advocates who have spent millions in recent years advocating for this re-opening of their sentences to now devote their resources to the much needed victim support."
NOVJL asks the news media to help in notifying all victims' families who are affected and could even be potentially endangered by today's ruling.
To speak with victims' family members, including relatives of victims in the cases today, or to see victim contacts and stories, amicus briefs, research, news reports, legislation, etc., visit www.teenkillers.org.
SOURCE National Organization of Victims of Juvenile Lifers (NOVJL)