With the elections less than a week away, an organization of murder victims’ family members is expressing concern about the record of Arizona Congressional Candidate Kyrsten Sinema. She is running against Vernon Parker for the newly drawn 9th Congressional District seat.
“We only recently became aware,” said Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins, national President and co-founder of NOVJL, the National Organization of Victims of Juvenile Lifers (www.teenkillers.org) ,”that someone was running in a close race for the United States Congress who had such an extreme and alarming record on victims’ rights and public safety. Our hearts have been broken already. Part of our mission has been to work to ensure that no one else ever has to go through what we have gone through.”
In 2008 Kyrsten Sinema sponsored HB 2293 in the Arizona legislature. Thankfully, it did not pass, but it would have undone life without parole sentences given to convicted murderers just shy of their 18th birthdays who committed highly aggravated murders in Arizona. Her proposal was for 25 year sentences instead. The legislation as written would have violated Arizona’s strong protections for the rights of crime victims. In fact, Arizona has among the best protections for the rights of crime victims in the nation. Sinema’s bill would also have endangered the public with early release of extremely violent offenders who were found, through full due process of law, to need to be incarcerated for life for the protection of Arizona residents. Finally, her legislation would have increased the cost to taxpayers of the handling of these offender’s cases, already a great burden on the public.
After examining the solid position that Congressional Candidate Vernon Parker is taking on the vital issue of victims’ rights in the criminal justice system, and the right of the public to be kept safe from the most dangerous and violent offenders, NOVJL members wanted Arizona residents to be aware of the differences between these two candidates on this important issue.