A bipartisan bill named in honor of the late Alex DeCroce, who served as the Assembly Republican Leader from 2003 until 2012, that strengthens the rights of crime victims was signed into law today by Gov. Christie.
Alex DeCroce’s Law, A-2380, is sponsored by Republicans BettyLou DeCroce, Holly Schepisi andAlison Littell McHose.
“Alex championed this legislation because of his sensitivity to the pain and anguish felt by victims and their families,” said DeCroce, R-Morris, Essex and Passaic. “He devoted much of his public and personal life to building a coalition of many constituencies that understood the trauma endured by crime victims and I am proud to help finish the work he pioneered. In my view, the victims’ rights are more important than the rights of the accused.”
Assemblyman DeCroce also sponsored and advocated for the Victims’ Rights Amendment – a landmark amendment to the New Jersey Constitution that guaranteed the rights of crime victims, which voters approved in 1991.
“This legislation now codifies what Alex DeCroce fought many years for,” said Schepisi, R-Bergen and Passaic. “It recognizes that the torment innocent victims endure does not end when an arrest is made. Treating crime victims with dignity and compassion is so critical that voters agreed to make it part of New Jersey’s Constitution. Alex played an important role in achieving that landmark amendment and today’s bill signing is a logical step to extend the rights of crime victims that our constitution guarantees.”
“Alex’s life was filled with empathy and concern for those who were targeted by criminals,” saidMcHose, R-Sussex, Warren and Morris. “He was a tenacious fighter for those will fell prey to the unscrupulous actions of lawbreakers. I am sure he is pleased that his pursuit of this important legislation was not forgotten and his goal of treating victims better than those who committed the crime was achieved.”
DeCroce’s Law received unanimous approval by both houses in the Legislature.
The law ensures:
- Victims are notified about the progress of their case, including any changes in the court schedule.
- Protection from harassment or abuse by defendants or their supporters.
- Medical assistance that is related to the crime.
- Compensation for losses sustained by the victim.
- Greater consideration to a victim’s impact statement.
The right to display a picture or wear a button in support of a murdered loved one