Oklahoma Crime Victims Rally For Rights At State Capitol

Wednesday, April 13th 2011, 6:01 pm
By: News On 6

Lori Fullbright, News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY -- This is national Crime Victims' Right's Week, a time to acknowledge the pain and suffering crime victims endure.

Oklahoma victims held a rally on the steps of the State Capitol Wednesday and News On 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright was the keynote speaker.

The victims' rights movement is all about helping victims get their lives back. This year's theme is Reshaping the Future, Honoring the Past and it underscores our nation's duty to respect and support victims as they overcome terrible circumstances.

Crime affects every type of family in all areas of our state.

One man was killed because he tried to help a friend who was struggling with drug addiction. A high school student was attacked with acid over text messages and died days later.

The stories are heartbreaking and there are so many of them.

While victims do have more rights now than they used to, like being notified before hearings, being allowed to give victim impact statements and receiving victim compensation, there is still a long way to go.

Debra Cantrell-Wyatt's parents were murdered in 2003 and her sister was murdered in 2005. Now, she helps other victims through the court system.

"Unfortunately, every day there's a story. You report on it, every day. There's some new tragic thing. I do it in the name of my mom and dad and sister and anyone else going through a horrific loss," she said.

She says the victim-witness program in each county is only as good as the District Attorney's office and she encourages people to urge all DA's to focus on treating victims better.