Only within the totally irrational realms of fantasy in a conscious mind can one conclude that the victim of a crime can be “re-victimized” simply by allowing the accused to have access to all of the evidence against him.
But that is exactly what federal prosecutors have irrationally concluded in the case against accused Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. So they’re petitioning the trial court in his case to deny him access to victim autopsy photos, because they think that doing so would “re-victimize the family members.”
“Allowing photos of the mutilated bodies of the victims to be viewed by the man accused of mutilating them would needlessly re-victimize the family members in the same way that innocent children who are photographed pornographically are re-victimized whenever those photos are seen by others,” argue the prosecutors.
“The autopsy photos are extremely graphic. They show the victims, who are all badly mutilated, in various states of undress, including completely naked. Although the photos, which are a standard part of all autopsies, are necessary, allowing Tsarnaev the unrestricted right to review all of them is completely unnecessary,” they conclude. “He does not need to review photos that will not be used against him in order to prepare his case or exercise any of his constitutional rights.”
Tsarnaev is facing the death penalty for a 30 count indictment that lays out his alleged role in the April 15 bombing which killed three and wounded 260 others. He has a Sixth Amendment constitutional right to a fair trial which includes having access to all of the evidence against him whether or not it will actually be offered into evidence at his trial.
The Authority wants to deny him his constitutional rights solely because they imagine that family members of the victims will be offended by and don’t want him to look at the autopsy photos of their loved ones. He should only be able to look at the photos they decide to introduce at his trial. Allowing him to look at the others somehow in their minds “re-victimizes” people.
One has to wonder what is going on in their irrational prosecutorial minds. Why are they doing this? Do they think the defendant is going to gloat if he looks at the pictures? Do they fantasize him enjoying the experience; laughing; having an orgasm? How is that relevant to the case at hand?
The actual victims of this crime are either injured or dead. They became victims when the bomb went off. They’re victims because of what the perpetrator did – not because people might look at the evidence collected during the investigation.
Family members of the victims have clearly suffered because of the crime but that doesn’t make them the victims of it. If it did, then we could all call ourselves victims because in a real sense everyone in the public suffers from the consequences of crime. These prosecutors are attempting to have the court redefine the term “crime victim.”
Crime victims can’t be “re-victimized” simply by allowing people to look at the evidence of the crime. That notion is totally irrational, illogical and nonsensical. Yes, it is perfectly understandable that the victim’s family members would rather not have the accused look at the autopsy photos of their loved ones but that hardly makes them victims of the crime.
Alas, the legal system and legalities in America are not always rational, logical and sensical. Sometimes the legal Authority becomes carried away by the emotions engendered by the criminal process and indulges in pure fantasy in response.
The idea, for example, that a child victim of a pornographer can be “re-victimized” whenever a third party simply looks at the evidence, is the product of a purely irrational legal fantasy. Yet this fantasy is employed regularly in the American criminal judicial system to convict innocent people of crimes just because they happened to look at a photograph they had absolutely nothing to do with producing.
If the victims of child pornographers are “re-victimized” by third parties simply looking at the evidence, then they are “re-victimized” by the police, the prosecutors, the judge and the jury in the criminal case against the real criminal just as much as if any other innocent third party looks at the same evidence. So the prosecutor of a child pornographer should be prosecuted if he looks at the pictures because that “re-victimizes” the victim.
To say that evidence of the crime “re-victimizes” is just plain nonsense. It’s patently absurd. Next the Authority will argue that just having to look at the accused behind the defense table at his trial amounts to “re-victimizing” family members along with the rest of society. They’d love to just dispense with the necessity of fair trials altogether.