Regina B. Schofield, Assistant Attorney General
Office of Justice Programs
National Crime Victims’ Rights Week National Observance and Candlelight Ceremony
April 19, 2007
Thank you, John. I’m humbled to be part of this observance and to join all of you in recognizing and remembering our nation’s crime victims.
Attorney General Gonzales, we’re honored that you could join us tonight for this special remembrance.
It’s also an honor to welcome our other distinguished guests, U.S. Attorney Taylor and Mark Lunsford. We’re very glad that both of you could be here with us.
And welcome to each and every one of you.
This annual gathering reminds us of the nation’s concerns about the issues facing crime victims.
I believe, and I know that Attorney General Gonzales shares this belief, that basic victims’ rights, including the right to be treated with fairness and respect, should be a cornerstone of the justice process. A system that doesn’t attend to the needs of victims and allow them to be part of the process is a system that fails to live up to its true potential.
The Office of Justice Programs and the Department of Justice are working to make sure that victims have a voice in the criminal justice system. We share your goal of a society in which the aggrieved and suffering have a place to turn for support and a reason to put their faith in the law.
Tonight, we send our love and support to the families of those killed and to those who were injured at Virginia Tech on Monday. We also remember the 13 people killed at Columbine High School eight years ago tomorrow and the 168 people who died in Oklahoma City on this day 12 years ago. And our thoughts rest on all those whose lives have been lost or forever changed by the acts of criminals. Let us dedicate ourselves to consecrating their memory in compassionate works.
I am now honored to introduce our next speaker.
Alberto Gonzales is one of President Bush’s closest and most trusted advisors. Before being appointed and confirmed as the nation’s 80th Attorney General, he served in the White House as the President’s Counsel. Earlier, he had served Governor George Bush as his General Counsel and then as the Texas Secretary of State. He was also a justice of the Texas supreme court.
Judge Gonzales has devoted his career to the public good. He knows that true justice will never be achieved until we uniformly respect the rights of victims and fully meet victims’ needs. That is why he has made serving crime victims central to his agenda at the Department of Justice.
We are honored to have him with us at this remembrance. Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming the Attorney General of the United States, Alberto Gonzales.