I regularly read the columnists in the Herald Leader some times I agree with their opinion, sometimes I don’t agree with their opinion.
Now for anyone that has read this blog knows one major theme here has been the transparency of government. The idea that what goes on in government should and must be open for review by the public.
Today I was made painfully aware there is exception to that rule.
In Merlene Davis’s column she comments on the lack of rights of juvenile victims of crime.
“Young criminals protected better than young victims.
It shocked me.
More surprisingly, it was something Commonwealth Attorney Ray Larson had not run into in his 21 years in office.
Not many people realize that a juvenile who is the victim of a crime does not have the same privacy protection as a juvenile who is the perpetrator of a crime.
Clarence and Lucy Jones of Lexington discovered that flaw in the justice system on Dec. 31, when they watched a video recording of their granddaughter's testimony in open court in the trial of her accused kidnapper and sodomizer. The tape is available to anyone with the $15 to purchase it.”
Where is the family values crowd from the last election on this issue? How could anyone think it could possible server the greater good to further humiliate and victimize and child that has been a victim of a crime?
The column continues:
“The Joneses contacted State Rep. Ruth Ann Palumbo, D-Lexington, their representative, who agreed to try to put a provision into proposed laws meant to tighten restraints on sex offenders.
"I could not imagine this was going on," Palumbo said. "If you don't put the names in the newspaper, why should the tapes be available? Someone could go in and put the tapes on the Internet."
Palumbo said she is still exploring the legal ramifications of sealing court cases involving juvenile victims, but she said she has not run into any opposition.
"We don't want to do anything to further victimize these children," she said.
The Joneses have gathered more than 500 signatures on a petition, which they plan to send to legislators to show the backing they have received in less than a month. U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Versailles, has offered his full support, as has the Fayette County Division of Police, they said.”
If there ever was an issue that is truly bi-partisan in nature then the need protect our children who are victims of crime is one that all legislators can rally around.
Who will be the first Republican to join Ruth Ann Palumbo on this?