Duncan mother raising awareness about crime victims’ rights through Marsy’s Law

DUNCAN, Okla. (TNN) - It’s National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, and local advocates are reminding crime victims and their families about the rights and resources they have through Marsy’s Law of Oklahoma.

Angela Wiles has been advocating for Marsy’s Law and crime victims’ rights since her 14-year-old daughter Alyssa was stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend in 2013 in Duncan.

 

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ABC 7 News 

Duncan mother raising awareness about crime victims’ rights through Marsy’s Law

April 21st, 2021 

 

About 24 hours after Alyssa broke up with him, 16-year-old Michael Ray brutally murdered her as she slept. Another younger teenager acted as a lookout for him.

Now, her mother Angela tells her story in the hopes that she can save others from heartache.

“Victims sadly just don’t have the same equal rights as the perpetrator,” she said, “so navigating that and learning you don’t have any rights once your child passes away, it’s very difficult and it hurts your feelings because you’re like ‘They matter and I need to stand up for them as a parent,’ and you’re not able to because you don’t have any rights because she was the victim of the crime.”

Marsy's Law of Oklahoma passed in 2018. It’s a Bill of Rights given to crime victims. Many have to do with access to knowledge, like when hearings are and if and when the perpetrator may be released.

They also have the right to know what the district attorney is talking about with the perpetrator and any deals they may be bargaining, but Wiles says that wasn’t the case when her daughter was murdered.

“Victims are often pushed aside,” she said. “I don’t know how many times I was told ‘You’re not the victim, you don’t have any rights, you can’t speak, you don’t need an attorney, it’s whatever the state decides,’ and we need to change that. Oklahoma is working at it. We’re really trying to improve those, but any victim of a crime needs to have a right to be heard.”

Wiles is proud they passed the Alyssa D. Wiles Law, allowing families of victims to seek Victim Protection Orders and avoid harassment.

“Five years ago, we had an Alyssa’s law passed that gave us rights to get protective orders against juvenile offenders once they age out of the system because we weren’t the victim of a crime, even though our daughter was murdered,” she said. “We didn’t have any rights to protect ourselves once he was released.”

She said now she has grandchildren and she loves teaching them, and even strangers, about who her daughter was.

“Victims are important. We want to hear our loved ones names said,” she said. “We might cry, but we cry every day anyway, and it’s okay. I’d rather you ask than to wonder. I know a lot of people see my name or see us at the store, and they wonder like, ‘I think that’s who that is.’ I’d rather you come up and ask me than whisper behind me. I’d love to tell you Alyssa’s story.”

Tomorrow at 6 p.m. at Fuqua Park in Duncan, they’re hosting a Victims’ Rights Awareness Memorial Service.

The public is invited to come out and remember those affected by violent crimes.

 

 


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  • Jaspreet Singh
    published this page in Latest News 2021-06-08 12:35:05 -0700