Voices Heard Advocating for Victims Rights in the Courtroom

Voices Heard Advocating for Victims Rights in the Courtroom
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2024-05-23
Unit 1Presentation Materials: Voices Heard Advocating for Victims Rights in the Courtroom
Unit 2Transcript : Voices Heard Advocating for Victims Rights in the Courtroom
Unit 3Workbook : Voices Heard Advocating for Victims Rights in the Courtroom
Unit 4Recording : Voices Heard Advocating for Victims Rights in the Courtroom

The Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists (AAIM) provides crucial support to victims of impaired and reckless driving crashes, ensuring they are treated with dignity and respect to foster healing and empowerment. This presentation highlights significant procedural failures and rights violations experienced by a victim within the judicial system as well as steps to better engage with victims and uphold their rights throughout the criminal process.

This session’s panel of presenters includes:

  • Kristina Lawler, AAIM’s Director of Victim Services
  • Kelly Krenzer, an AAIM Victim Advocate
  • Cindy Hora, previously worked in the Illinois Supreme Court Research Department

Points covered in the webinar include:

  • The work, services, and programming that the AAIM provides to serve the victims, courts, and the community.
  • A case study of the car crash that killed Juan Lozano.
    • The case details: What led to the car crash, the timeline immediately after the car crash, the charges filed, and information about the defendant.
    • How AIMM advocate Kelly Krenzer worked with Elizabeth Alvarado, Juan Lozano’s mother, the victim witness, the state attorney, and the courts.
    • The numerous administrative setbacks, personnel changes, and delays and miscommunications exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic that eventually led to violations of Elizabeth’s rights.
  • An overview of Illinois’ Marsy’s Law that guarantees 12 constitutional rights to victims of crimes against persons providing a framework for victims to assert and enforce their rights and remedies of rights violations.
  • A continuation of the case study, this time around focusing on the victims’ rights violations.
    • The constitutional violations alleged in the motion filed by the victim against the court and the prosecutor.
    • The response of the state prosecutor that acknowledged rights violations but argued against a remedy for the victim, ultimately failing to ensure the victim’s rights.
    • The defense response that echoed the State’s arguments.
    • The victim’s reply to the response of the state and defense counsel.
    • The judge’s ruling that admitted to neglecting statutory procedures, promising to commit to better attention to victim rights in future cases, yet stating no meaningful remedy could be provided without violating the defendant’s plea agreement rights.
  • AAIM’s work on victim rights emphasizing the importance of:
    • Supporting victims and promoting trauma-informed care within the judicial system and its procedure.
    • Maintaining continuous communication and educating victims on their rights and expectations with the court processes.

Questions from the webinar attendees are about:

  • How AAIM court monitors compile and convey their findings to the court.
  • Resolving conflicts between victim’s and defendant’s rights.
  • Guidelines on who can hear the victims’ rights violation case when the judge was the one who committed the violation.


Click here to view and register for other upcoming Victim Advocate/Assistance webinars and recordings on the JCH Platform.


Resources and Handouts


Audience Comments

  • “Overall very interesting presentation. Really enjoyed the 1st and 3rd presenters with their experiences and suggestions on helping victims.”
  • “Very interesting to hear an approach to victim’s rights and how the court can let everyone down!”
  • “Loved the topic, presented well. I learned a few thigs that I hope I can utilize.”
  • “Thank you for an enlightening webinar.”
  • “We get used to working with victims and don’t always notice if rights are being violated until they are. This was a great refresher.”




Additional Resources
20 days ago
After the Webinar: Voices Heard. Q&A with the Panelists
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