Home » Reference Library » Quotable Quotes
"I stuck a man with my knife. I stabbed him everywhere but the bottom of his feet."
"This man is about love."
Actor Denzel Washington. (speaking of Carter)
“So when you turn on the television on Oscar night, don’t expect to see any of the victims’ family members in the audience or walking up arm and arm with Denzel to receive his award. No Hurricane victim will be given the opportunity to make one of those empty pronouncements from the microphone that actors have come to believe they do so well. But the Hurricane’s victims will survive. They have survived. And it is up to those of us who have faith in the righteousness of our justice system to make sure that, while not being on the big screen, nevertheless, they will not be faceless strangers.”
Richard Pompelio, attorney for Carter’s victims - commentary on the movie Hurricane.
"The victim was a person - someone you can picture."
Assembly Speaker Jack Collins testifying before the Assembly Judiciary Committee on June 15, 1999 regarding his bill to allow the photograph of a murder victim at the killer’s sentencing proceeding. (Nielsa’s Law)
"Youth violence is a complicated problem fed by many factors, including the breakup of families lack of moral and spiritual values and inadequate communication between affected groups."
Assembly man Paul DiGaetano, chairman of the Assembly Task Force on youth violence and the juvenile justice system.
"I seek to break the chain of violence in the family. I want him to know what love is and to receive it and respect others."
Cecilia Coyle mother of murder victim Patricia Huff. who was murdered by her husband in the presence of their 3 year old son. Coyle successfully fought a court challenge by Huff to require visitation with his 8 year old son in State Prison. The Trial court, Judge N. Peter Conforti not only denied visitation but also restricted all contact with the child by Huff prior to the boy reaching the age of 12 years old.
"Will mankind ever stop hating? Never.
Without hate you can’t have love.
Without love you can’t have hate.
It’s the yin and the yang you know the circle."
White supremacist, T.J. Leyden.
“The killing of Bonnie Garland was not just the theft of a young girl's birthright, not just an unbearable pain inflicted on her family and friends; it was an assault on the social order that makes human life possible. The killing of Bonnie Garland, first by Richard Herrin and then again by a legal and cultural process, which seemed to forget that she had ever existed, endangers us all. In our compassion for the criminal, we must remain vigilant in defense of social good, for the sake of those innocent living and yet unborn.”
Dr. Willard Gaylin
“He robbed me of my childhood. I have so much difficulty functioning as an adult because I have no past as a child to draw upon for strength."
Victim of Incest
"I despise you."
Superior Court Judge General J. Council speaking to convicted killer Corey Jackson at his sentencing for causing the death of 53 year old Hae Ja Lee
"I changed my mind"
Convicted murder John Martini who was scheduled to be executed on September 22, 1999 for the kidnapping and murder of Irving Flax in 1989. Convicted of two prior murders in Arizona, Martini fired his lawyer in 1994 stating that he wished to stop all appeals and be executed. At public expense Martini won court approval to control his own destiny. On August 12, 1999, just 41 days before his scheduled execution he had a change of heart.
It is now clear that (Martini) cynically manipulated the appeals process to buy himself more time than would otherwise be considered."
Former Representative Richard Zimmer who chaired the Governor’s Death Penalty Commission.
"I was too busy playing chess."
Death row inmate John Martini who was one of the 5 inmates present in the 20 by 25 foot recreation cage when fellow inmate Ambrose Harris beat and stomped Mudman Simon to death.
"Justice, though due to the accused, is due the accuser also. The concept of fairness must not be strained till it is narrowed to a filament. We are to keep the balance true."
Supreme Court Justice Benjamin N. Cardoza in Snyder v. Massachusetts
"Victims have discovered that they are treated as appendages of a system appallingly out of balance. They have learned that somewhere along the way, the system has lost tract of the simple truth that it is supposed to be fair and to protect those who obey the law while punishing those who break it. Somewhere along the way, the system began to serve lawyers and judges and defendants, treating the victim with institutionalized disinterest."
President Reagan's Task Force on Victims of Crime, December, 1982.
Although this amendment is not intended in any way to deny or infringe upon the constitutional rights of any person accused of a crime, it is designed to place victims on an equal footing by guaranteeing certain fundamental rights as a matter of State Constitutional imperative."
The Interpretive Statement to Article 1, par.22 - the Victim's Rights Constitutional Amendment
"She is a ...walking, talking, breathing, victim impact statement ... A reminder that Amy Hoffman was once a living, breathing human being. ... Her testimony is being milked by the prosecution... as so much emotional baggage."
Defense attorney David Rhunke arguing to the court in support of his motion to exclude from the courtroom and the entire Town of Newton, Florence Hoffman, the mother of murder victim Amy Hoffman in the death penalty trial of James Koedatich - 1990.
"This is a public courtroom which is open to members of the public, all members of the public. And our courts must be open to members of the public because history teaches that when things go on that are hidden from the public, people tend to think the worst, and history also teaches us that sometimes they are right."
Superior Court Judge Donald G. Collester, Jr. in denying Rhunke’s motion.
"[P]ublic access to criminal proceedings promotes informed discussion of governmental affairs by providing the public with a more complete understanding of the judicial system. This public access and the knowledge gained thereby serve an important educative interest. Second, public access to criminal proceedings gives the assurance that the proceedings were conducted fairly to all concerned and promotes the public perception of fairness. Public confidence in and respect for the judicial system can be achieved only by permitting full public view of the proceedings."
3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in United States v. A.D.,quoting United States v. Criden
“It must be remembered that the greatest danger to people from the exercise of the judicial power is that there may be a usurpation by the courts of the people's right to express in law, by overwhelming numbers of their elected legislators, their collective reasoning.”
Justice (then Judge) Pashman in New Jersey Sports & Exposition Auth. v. McCrane, 119 N.J.Super. 457, 476 77, 292 A.2d 580 (Law Div.1971), aff'd as modified, 61 N.J. 1, 292 A.2d 545, appeal dismissed, 409 U.S. 943, 93 S.Ct. 270, 34 L.Ed.2d 215 (1972)
“Unlike most interpretations of constitutional provisions, we need not surmise what the founders intended when they drafted the Victim's Rights Amendment. We know exactly what the founders of this constitutional amendment intended fair treatment for victims. To hold the victim impact statute unconstitutional would require us to ignore the Victim's Rights Amendment and the will of the electorate that overwhelmingly approved the constitutional amendment. Over 1,200,000 citizens voted for the Victim's Rights Amendment while only 223,248 people voted against it. Manual of New Jersey, Two Hundred and Fourth Legislature (First Session) 1992, at 903. Beginning with the passage of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act of 1971 (N.J.S.A. 52:4B 1 to 33), the people of New Jersey, speaking through the Legislature, have repeatedly expressed a very strong "public attitude" that victims should be provided with more rights”.
Id. at 42-43. New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Marie Garibaldi, speaking for the court in State v. Muhammad, 145 N.J. 23, 42 & 43 (1996)
“The first substantive provision of the Victims' Rights Amendment provides that victims of crime "shall be treated with fairness, compassion and respect by the criminal justice system." N.J. Const. art. I, par. 22. This provision effects a fundamental change in the criminal justice system. Instead of adopting a two party State v. Defendant paradigm, this provision requires that the system consider interests of third parties, specifically crime victims. Unfair practices that deny crime victims fairness, compassion and respect are unconstitutional under the amendment. Ensuring the right of victims to appropriate treatment is perhaps the most fundamental of all rights for victims. In the absence of further legislative elaboration, the words of the provision carry their ordinary dictionary definitions.”
Id. at 135-36. Judge Patrick Roma in See State in the Interest of K.P., 311 N.J. Super. 123, 135-38 (Ch. Div. 1997)
"Every defendant knows, if endowed with the mental competence for criminal responsibility, that the life he will take by his homicidal behavior is that of a unique person, like himself, and that the person to be killed probably has close associates, "survivors," who will suffer harms and deprivations from the victim's death. Just as defendants know that they are not faceless human ciphers, they know that their victims are not valueless fungibles, and just as defendants appreciate the web of relationships and dependencies in which they live, they know that their victims are not human islands, but individuals with parents or children, spouses or friends or dependents. Thus, when a defendant chooses to kill, or to raise the risk of a victim's death, this choice necessarily relates to a whole human being and threatens an association of others, who may be distinctly hurt."
United States Supreme Court Justice David Souter in Payne v. Tennessee, 111 S.Ct. 2597, 2615-2616 (1991)
“Nielsa Mason was once a living, breathing and vibrant teenager whose life brought joy and pleasure to her family and her friends. To deny her loved ones their constitutional right to be respected as crime victims and to exercise their Constitutional and statutory rights by showing her face as part of their victim impact statement, denies Nielsa's family's status as crime victims. More egregiously, however, it denies the existence of Nielsa Mason, the unnamed but most important party of the case of State v. Peter Henriques, which is the victim, Nielsa Mason.”
Richard D. Pompelio, Esq. – brief to the New Jersey Supreme Court in support of request to show victim’s photo at sentencing.
“Many of the individuals in this state who have been labeled as crime victim advocates have themselves been victims of crimes. Most of them, however, have already been through the criminal justice system. It is too late for them to correct the indignities and harsh realities of their own personal experiences; however, it is not too late to help the many others who will be thrust innocently and blindly into the process. When you have been a victim of a crime you understand what it is like for someone else to be a victim.”
Richard D. Pompelio, Esq.
"There have lately been outrageous incidents in which crime victims and/or their families have been excluded from the courtroom on the ground that their presence would generate such undue sympathy in the minds of the jurors as to prevent a fair trial for the defendant. A public trial should mean just that. An those who have their lives forever maimed and changed by violent acts are not only part of the public but also have a special standing to be present and to observe the system at work."
Robert J. Del Tufo, New Jersey Attorney General Testimony before Assembly Judiciary Committee 1990
"For many people, it's important that we, as public servants, recognize that the criminal justice system as it exists today if failing. It's failing society because it has no positive purpose. It will have a positive purpose once this amendment becomes law because I think people will look at the criminal justice system in a different manner, and they will realize that what's all about crime is the victim of a crime and not necessarily the criminal. There are times when people are accused of a crime and convicted and sentenced, and at some point in time that sentence is over and their incarceration is over. For victims of crimes the sentence is never over, and the incarceration is never over."
Richard D. Pompelio, Esq. Testimony before Assembly Judiciary Committee 1990
"This court can find no principled reason to distinguish between victims of crime based on the age of the perpetrators who commit it. The focus of the legislation being construed is on the rights of victims. There are no punitive implications to the granting of these rights. There is no danger that the rehabilitative goals which distinguish juvenile court from criminal court would be endangered by the exercise of these rights by the victims of the juvenile's offenses."
Judge Fuentes in State in the Interest of O.G., Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division - Family Part, Hudson County, Docket No. FJ-09-3332-93 (unpublished opinion - decided December 8, 1993). In deciding that the rights of a crime victim under the Crime Victim's Bill of Rights would apply in a juvenile court proceeding so that the victim could personally address the court prior to sentencing, Pg. 7
"My children and I wish only to sit quietly during the court proceedings. We present no threat of harm to the 16 year old girl charged with Zoickleeim's death or to anyone."
Tobi Moore in her certification supporting her motion to appear at the court proceedings of her daughter’s killer. The Appellate Division reversed the lower court in an emergent appeal to permit the victim-survivor to attend all proceedings.