We are the loved ones of those who were murdered by juveniles. We formed NOVJM only for the purpose of supporting and informing each other. Our organization takes no specific stand on what criminal sentences for these offenders should be. Cases and victims’ views vary widely, and offender sentences are decided by the criminal justice system established in law by our society, not by victims’ families.
We do stand for truth-telling in these cases. In the frenzy of well-funded advocacy for juvenile offenders in the last decade, the truth about these murderers has too often been minimized, or outright lied about.
We stand for victims rights, and specifically those of all victim family members to be heard and participate fully as they choose in their cases.
We stand for the importance of giving devastated victims’ families LEGAL FINALITY in their cases so that they do not have to spend much of the rest of their lives constantly having to re-engage with the person who destroyed their lives by murdering their loved ones. We urge courts, parole boards, and legislators everywhere to balance the justice process with profound regard for the literal torture that victims’ loved ones endure every single time anything to do with the murder case is re-opened in their lives. Resources also need to be devoted to support and inform victims families during these trying legal proceedings.
We began as NOVJL, National Organization of Victims of Juvenile Lifers, but changed our name to NOVJM in 2014 due to our growing membership of many victims families of those killed by teens who received sentences far less than life – the majority of teen killers’ sentences.