June 11, 2002
Victims need constitutional rights, too
The trial of David Westerfield, accused kidnapper and murderer of 7-year-old Danielle van Dam, began this week in a San Diego courtroom.
Two especially interested parties will be excluded from most of the otherwise public proceedings – the dead little girl's parents.
This is the beginning of an excellent Joseph Perkins column in the San Diego Union-Tribune, which details how a concern for the civil rights of perpetrators has trumped (or trampled) the civil rights of the victims, the ones who were wronged. Any time the concept of victim's rights is broached, the ACLU reacts, claiming that the laws already on the books adequately protect the interests of victims and their families.
Someone let the Van Dams know that the laws are looking out for them; they probably think differently right about now.