Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer created a video tribute for the 22nd National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, containing statements from past victims and how they survived their trauma.
“All the time, even in times like this during a pandemic, that our first and foremost responsibility is to seek justice,” Spitzer said in a statement.
The motto for this year’s National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is “seek justice, ensure victims’ rights and inspire hope.”
As COVID-19 social distancing procedures prohibit all public gatherings, advocates of the remembrance celebrations have gathered virtually by creating videos and conferences to replace the typical physical gatherings.
“I want and hope that you’re inspiring hope in our court work, with the victims you’re speaking to, and really amongst each other in our communities,” Spitzer said.
Tina Mora and Mary Bennett, who lost their sister and daughter Cathy Torrez to murder, spoke out in the tribute video to say that remembering those that have passed away is extremely important.
“It shows victims and the families of victims that they’re not forgotten and that there’s still people out there fighting for justice,” Mora said.
However, in an effort to decrease overcrowded prison populations and lower the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks, certain non-violent and low-risk inmates have been released from California prisons, primarily in the Los Angeles area. Due to recommendations made by the DA’s office, those within the OC DA’s office have reached out to the victims of the released criminals to inform them of the release.
“Our responsibility and our job is always to do justice and to seek justice and ensure that the crime victim’s rights are protected,” Spitzer said.
Benjamin Olson is a City News Intern for the 2020 spring quarter. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.