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If You Call the Cops, Be Prepared to Press Matter to Conviction

People come to me frequently seeking a way to stop an assaultive case against loved ones, boyfriends, paramours, spouses that they got rolling by calling the cops because the other side supposedly roughed them up, and I have to tell them there is little that can be done once they get the government juggernaut rolling.

The Victims' Bill of Rights of 1982 and 2008 “protect” only those “victims” who choose the route of cooperative victimization. They give victims rights of vengeance but not of abatement. They help if victims want to help the government prosecute people, but they do not help if victims want to drop the matter and move on with life.

The stewards of those laughably labeled bills of rights, local and state prosecutors, salivate at the idea of prosecuting assailants; they have no interest in helping people who want to get back together with their assailants to serve family stability or children rearing values.

It is a misnomer to label the two programs “rights,” because true rights can be exercised both affirmatively and negatively. Under the First Amendment, you have a right to speak or not to speak, to pray or not to pray, to believe or not to believe; under the 2d Amendment you have the right to possess a gun or not to possess a gun; under the 6th Amendment you have the right to jury trial or not a jury trial, to be represented by counsel or to represent yourself. But under the victims' bills of “rights,” you have only the right to help the prosecutor in whatever the prosecutor wants; you don't have the right not to help him/her. So, it is not a “right,” but instead a mandate mislabeled a right to give it dignity and weight.

So, those calling the cops because they might have been abused by a friend, paramour, lover, spouse [or because they want to gain an advantage in a family law matter, which is the motivation for a high percentage of such reportings!] had better make sure at the beginning that they are willing to go the whole way through prosecution to conviction, because the government will laugh at them for trying to invoke their victims' bills of rights to stop the rapacious juggernaut, rolling not only over the person they reported, but also over them if they refuse to cooperate.

Ask not for government's help unless you are willing to suffer the down side that is part of the government's agenda.

Michael Kennedy

Admitted to Bar, State of California, 1981 Education: Widener University, Chester, Pennsylvania (B.A., 1970) Southwestern University School of Law, Los Angeles, California (J.D., Scale, 1981) Harvard Law School, Program of Instruction for Lawyers, Cambridge, 1987


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