When someone is murdered, society relies on the police and victims of homicide attorneys to seek justice for the community by punishing the killer. Arizona has enacted important laws to permit the surviving family to be a participant in the criminal justice system, but the criminal justice system is not designed to address the devastating emotional and financial losses a family suffers with the loss of a loved one.
The loss of a loved one is a traumatic experience for any family. When the loss of a life is caused by an intentional act, such as murder, the surviving family can be left with questions about why the crime occurred and could it have been prevented. They are faced with the challenges of continuing life without the care, comfort and support of their loved one.
Crime is not always inevitable or random. It is often opportunistic. While society tries to limit access to guns, based on age, criminal record or mental illness, all too often guns end up in the wrong hands due to the irresponsible actions of gun owners. Inadequate security at shopping centers, bars, apartment complexes, gas stations and other commercial establishments provide opportunities for criminals.
As victims of homicide attorneys, we have represented numerous clients whose loved ones have been murdered. Among the families we have represented is a surviving family which alleged that their loved one was shot and killed by a shop owner that perceived their unarmed son as a threat and shot and killed him. In another case, the surviving family alleged that their loved one was shot and killed by the son of parents that had failed to safely secure their gun, even though they knew their son was unstable and had a criminal record. In another case, the family alleged that their son was killed outside of a bar despite repeated incidents of parking lot violence and police warnings of gang activity.
Arizona, like most states, has a victim compensation fund to provide limited financial assistance. A civil case can be filed against the perpetrator or any negligent third party in order to more fully compensate a family for lost wages, medical expenses, funeral expenses, and emotional damages suffered by the loss of a loved one. Although a civil suit will never fully enable a family to recover from the loss of a loved one, it can be a powerful tool to assist a family who depended on the loved one for financial support and to hold negligent parties accountable for their actions.
If you or someone you know has been affected or victimized by homicide, please contact the victims homicide attorneys at The Law Office of Sara J. Powell. We seek justice for victims through compensation and rights advocacy.