Respect for Victims

Victims deserve to have their cases effectively prosecuted. It should go without saying that victims also deserve to be treated with respect. Unfortunately, that is not always happening in Bexar County.

It is not uncommon for victims in Bexar County to be threatened with arrest if they refuse to cooperate with the prosecution of a case. Other counties do not tolerate such behavior. A prosecutor in Harris County was fired for jailing a rape victim named Jenny for 27 days to compel her testimony. The current Bexar County District Attorney then hired that prosecutor. The Texas Legislature, inspired by Jenny’s plight, went on to pass Jenny’s Law. This new law gives victim’s a lawyer and a hearing if prosecutors attempt to jail them to compel their testimony. The current District Attorney was the only elected D.A. in the state to oppose Jenny’s Law and sent top administration officials to testify against it. (Video of that testimony is available here beginning at 12:45. It is shockingly callous.)

Also, a positive office culture that is victim focused and respectful to victims must be established through the example set by the boss. This is not happening in Bexar County. Instead we have a District Attorney. that gets into arguments with and belittles victims on social media. Joe will set an example that encourages all employees of the District Attorney’s Office, from the top to the bottom, to treat victims and all members of the community with respect.

A prosecutor’s job is to see that justice is done. Belittling, threatening, and jailing victims is not justice. Respect for victims is. Joe pledges to neither threaten nor jail victims as District Attorney. Joe will create policies and foster an office culture that ensures victims are treated with the respect they deserve. The District Attorney’s Office exists to serve victims and the community, not the other way around.