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April 16, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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Attorney in Bremerton school-shooting case seeking too much

Victim is not to blame

When did the victim stop being the victim?

Sadly, this question immediately comes to mind after reading Nicole Brodeur’s column titled, “Attorney in school-shooting case is seeking too much.” [NWTuesday, April 10.]

We’ve all followed the tragic news reports about the 9-year-old boy who was convicted of bringing a gun to school in Bremerton, critically wounding 9-year-old Amina Kocer-Bowman.

When Amina went to class that day, she’d done nothing wrong. She went to school to learn in a safe environment. Instead, Amina and her family’s lives have been shattered, and a court-ordered apology by the boy will not change that.

They deserve support for their right to seek accountability and justice through our civil judicial system.

The family’s attorney is correct: This shooting was a preventable tragedy, not an accident. Investigations are ongoing and the information gleaned from the case will determine accountability.

No crime victim should feel that their efforts to demand accountability from a system who failed them are wrong.

Parents should be able to send their children to school without wondering if they will become the next Kocer-Bowman family. And they certainly should not have to fear that their efforts to right a devastating wrong will make them the villains.

— Rebecca Roe, president of Washington State Association for Justice, Seattle

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