Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato Strengthens Crime Victims’ Rights

South Queens, NY Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-South Queens) sponsored legislation aimed at further strengthening the voices of victims by giving those impacted by a crime the opportunity to make a victim impact statement at parole hearings.

At a press conference, the Assemblywoman discussed her legislation, A.9074. Under this bill, all district attorneys would be required to notify victims by letter of the final result of the case if there is a conviction, notify the victim(s) of their right to make a victim impact statement and allow them to personally appear at parole hearings and make such a statement.

“For too long we have forgotten about the victim, a person who has survived a crime. We believe that victims have a voice, and it needs to be amplified in all aspects of our criminal justice system. Our survivors need to be heard and be part of the process. Leaving survivors out of the equation makes them voiceless – and this is no longer acceptable. Survivors matter and we must give them the opportunity to express how a crime has impacted their life. I am proud to be working with Assemblywoman Woerner and Senator Stavisky to provide that opportunity to victims,” said Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato.

A companion bill, Sponsored by Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner, aims to also address the inequality in victim rights and would permit the judge in a sentencing hearing to allow an impact statement from victims of misdemeanor crimes. Both bills are being championed by Senator Toby Ann Stavisky who went on to say, “victims of all crimes, whether felony or misdemeanor, can carry scars from the incident for years. Often, these emotional scars lie beneath the surface.” Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner went on to say, “These bills give crime victims a voice.”

A form of this bill was first introduced well over a decade ago by the late Assemblywoman Nettie Mayersohn who was a renowned legislator and fierce advocate for safety, victims and health. “This work was started with Senator Stavisky and Assemblywoman Mayersohn sometime ago. I am proud to be picking up the gauntlet and joining forces with these two amazing legislators as we fight for victims’ rights and ensure that these protections are brought to the victims of crimes in the State of New York,” said Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato.