SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – District Attorney Mike Ramos was selected by the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) to be Chairman of a national committee dedicated to working with district attorneys, public safety leaders and victims’ rights advocates to draft and support a United States Constitutional Amendment for Victims’ Rights.
“I am honored to represent San Bernardino County on this important issue and to be entrusted by my colleagues from across the nation,” District Attorney Mike Ramos said. “My entire career as district attorney has been based on holding criminals accountable and fighting for victims and their families. Right now, as our nation grapples with prison reform and the rights of prisoners, I keep asking myself, what about the victims? What about their families having to deal with a lifetime of pain? We need to hear their voices, and those voices need to be protected in all of this discussion.”
To accomplish this task, District Attorney Ramos will be working with other members of the law and justice community and former Oklahoma state senator Brooks Douglass. Douglass is no stranger to the grief and financial burden that occur after tragedy. In 1979, his parents were murdered in a brutal home invasion in 1979. Douglass and his sister were also shot and left to die, but they both survived.
In the wake of this horrific experience, Douglass turned tragedy into an effort to amend the U.S. Constitution with protections for victims’ rights.
“In the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution there are 23 enumerated rights for the accused,” Douglass said. “The problem is there are no rights specified for victims.”
On April 16, 2015, an amendment to the Constitution of the United States protecting the rights of crime victims (House Joint Resolution 45) was proposed. The amendment was supported by Douglass and several other lawmakers and victims’ rights advocates. The bill failed to pass in the House.
“We intend to look at the existing language in current drafts and make any necessary changes before reintroducing a new proposed amendment,” Ramos said. “Once that happens, I look forward to working with our United States Senators and Representatives to protect and ensure the rights of victims,” said Ramos.