The 2014 Dart Awards for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma recently awarded an honorable mention to the New York Times Magazine's story about the Marsh Law Firm's client Amy entitled The Price of a Stolen Childhood.The annual Dart Awards recognize outstanding reporting in all media that portrays traumatic events with accuracy, insight and sensitivity while illuminating the effects of violence and tragedy on victims’ lives. The Dart Awards, established in 1994, are administered by the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, based at the Columbia Journalism School.The Dart Awards are a team prize, recognizing that presenting in-depth journalism on ...
The ratification of a new United Nations treaty allows children to lodge complaints directly with the Committee on the Rights of the Child when facing a violation of rights.This "Optional Protocol on a communications procedure,," which came into effect after being ratified by 10 countries (the United States has not yet ratified this protocol or the Convention on the Rights of the Child) recognizes a child's capacity to defend their rights by submitting complaints directly to the Committee about potential violence and exploitation under the Convention on the Rights of the Child as well as under the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict and the ...
The introduction of the "Justice for Amy Act" follows a recent Supreme Court decision which limited the remedies available to victims of child pornography under federal law. The case concerned Pennsylvania resident "Amy," whose childhood was shattered when, at age 9, she was raped and then had those images traded over the Internet.
Because Paul and other "crime victims" groups can be very effective advocates, I certainly believe it may be possible that Congress will respond in some way after Paroline. But if (when?) the Justice Department is disinclined to join the call for statutory reform, I would predict that the post-Paroline status quo is could stay in place for some time.
What is news is that Paroline v. U.S. was the first time in the Court's history that a crime victim was allowed to be represented by her own counsel. Giving child victims a voice in matters that affect them is a universally recognized right. The question now is, "Will Congress listen?"
The conservatives got the law right, Sotomayor got the morality right, and Kennedy - characteristically trying to have it both ways - created a muddle.
While none of the other justices joined her opinion, Sotomayor would have affirmed the Fifth Circuit's en banc majority, granting the victim Amy full restitution. That majority included some conservative stalwarts (such as my former boss, Edith Jones) who aren't often on the same side of divisive issues as the Wise Latina.
Unless Congress is satisfied with the vague standard of the majority, it could look good for all of Congress to get tougher than the Court was willing to be on child pornographers - particularly when the Court's ruling means that many victims are undercompensated.
What's most important about the high court's decision in Paroline is that when courts assess mandatory restitution on defendants, "you have to look at the defendant's conduct and see if the award is proportional to the defendant's conduct or it could violate the Eighth Amendment,'' said veteran Houston criminal defense attorney Stan Schneider, who represented Doyle R. Paroline.
The Fifth Circuit erred in holding that defendant, who pled guilty to possessing child pornography, two of which depicted images of the victim here, was liable for said victim's entire losses from the trade in her images, where: 1) restitution is proper under 18 U.S.C. 2259 only to the extent the defendant's offense proximately caused a victim's losses; 2) victims should be compensated and defendants should be held to account for the impact of their conduct on those victims, but defendants should only be made liable for the consequences and gravity of their own conduct, not the conduct of others; and 3) a court should order restitution in an amount ...