Victims of crime will be able to testify, beginning Wednesday, at the parole hearings of those who victimized them.
"We are going to make every effort to see it works as smoothly as it can," said board member Victoria Palacios. The board opposed the bill before the Legislature, citing logistical and security concerns of having the victims and criminals in the same small room together."No one understood we didn't oppose the theory of victims' rights," Palacios said. "But it creates problems we are not equipped to handle."
The Board of Pardons is now notifying by letter all victims when a prisoner is scheduled for a parole hearing. The board is encouraging victims who may want to testify to contact the board in advance.
"Unless they tell us in advance they are going to be there, it could mean rescheduling the hearing to a time when we can hear them," she said.
Letters of notification have already gone out to crime victims for parole revocation hearings scheduled for Wednesday.