Sarah P Goode's Law- Abolish or change the abatement doctrine
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Sarah Patricia Goode was loved by so many. Proof was the army of people that came to her family’s aide to find her when she went missing. From that day until her murderer was convicted we had to fight and be her voice for justice. We got what little justice we could for her and her daughter, who must live with knowing how her mother was viciously taken from her when she was just 4 years old.
Her murderer was convicted, beyond any doubt, of 1st degree murder, 2nd degree murder and 1st degree attempted rape.
Sadly, due to an antiquated, 19th century doctrine, the conviction was overturned and the whole case was abated as if it had never happened. We are now having to fight again; to abolish what is nothing but a loophole, for murderers and criminals to clear their names of guilt. If they know in life they can never prove their innocence, they take their own life. They make a choice, something they denied their victims, and the convictions are so easily wiped. The conviction and life sentence we fought for in Sarah’s name was dropped.
Abatement is the dismissal or discontinuance of a legal proceeding when a criminal defendant dies before they have a chance to appeal. “Ab initio” is to overturn the conviction, essentially clearing the defendant as if he had never been charged. There is no federal constitutional right for a convicted murderer to be granted an appeal. There is nothing in the doctrine that specifies the type of death to be considered if abatement is considered.
We demand the abatement doctrine be abolished completely or that it be revamped completely. It should specify, that death by suicide relinquishes a defendant’s right to appeal. Further, it should include that restitution paid or agreed upon prior to the suicide, remain the benefit of the victim(s) of a defendant who chose to kill him or herself.
Please, add your name to help us change this, Sarah P. Goode's law would make it so that the death of a convicted murderer, found guilty in a court of law, should not erase the rights of the victims and their families left behind. If truly innocent, no convicted murderer should have reason to die by choice. All states should expressly refuse to abate any case in which a convicted murderer commits suicide, that is their decision to forego an appeal.
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