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January 4, 2008

Fascinating case about victim rights at sentencing

The Salt Lake Tribune has this new article reporting on a fascinating ruling regarding victim rights at sentencing. The piece is headlined "Trolley rampage: Parents can't speak at sentencing; Judge rules daughter is victim of shooting spree, not handgun case," and here is how it begins:

A judge on Thursday ruled the parents of a woman killed in the Trolley Square rampage cannot speak in court when the man who illegally sold the handgun used to kill their daughter is sentenced. 

Sue and Ken Antrobus had asked that their daughter be declared a victim in the case of Mackenzie Glade Hunter, who has pleaded guilty to supplying gunman Sulejman Talovic with the .38-caliber Smith & Wesson that fired the fatal shot. That designation would allow them to speak as representatives of their daughter, Vanessa Quinn, when Hunter is sentenced on Jan. 14, and to describe the devastating impact of her death.

U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball noted that Quinn and her parents are "undoubtedly" victims of Talovic's shooting spree.  However, federal law does not consider them victims of the gun sale that took place eight months before Quinn was killed, the judge said. "While the court does not want to minimize in any way the harm suffered by those who were killed, injured, or had loved ones killed or injured by Talovic, that harm is not sufficiently connected to Hunter's offense of unlawfully selling a firearm to a minor for this court to consider Hunter's actions to be the direct and proximate cause of the harm," Kimball wrote in his decision.

Kimball also denied the Antrobuses' request for information in a presentence report to bolster their argument that Hunter should get a 99-month sentence, and a request for $107,000 in restitution for funeral expenses and lost income they had hoped to put into the Vanessa Quinn Scholarship Fund.

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January 4, 2008 at 07:30 AM | Permalink

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Comments

This story will provided needed growth to the Victims' Rights industry.

Posted by: S.cotus | Jan 4, 2008 10:18:19 AM

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