Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Van Regenmorter an icon in Michigan criminal justice

Although he didn’t work or live in Macomb County or even metro Detroit, the late Bill Van Regenmorter should be appreciated by anyone in Michigan who is involved in law enforcement, has been a crime victim or cares about crime victims.
Van Regenmorter, a state legislator for more than 24 years, died this week at 73.
Van Regenmoter wrote the Crime Victims Act in 1985 and pushed for many other pieces of crime and punishment legislation, including the Truth in Sentencing Act in the late 1990s and increased penalties for crimes against children.
He is a major reason why crime victims must be allowed to speak at sentencings and have input into their cases. In Macomb County, the victim’s rights unit has four members assigned to work with victims and their loved ones in hundreds of cases a year.
I remember interviewing Van Regenmorter a couple of times about criminal justice legislation over the telephone. He was glad to help and didn't pass it on to a press spokesman even though it didn’t benefit him politically to talk to a Macomb Daily reporter; he served on the west side, in Georgetown Township near Grand Rapids.
The Republican is being heralded by many across the state, by Dems and GOPers alike. Attorney General Bill Schuette said Van Regenmorter was known as the Father of Crime Victim’s Rights in Michigan.
“He worked to make Michigan a safer and better place, and words cannot begin to express the debt of gratitude we all owe him,” Schuette said in a press release.
Well said.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home