Press Democrat: "GUEST OPINION: For victims, justice is not being served"

Randy Shelly, whose son was killed in 2009 by a teen driver with prior driving offenses, and criminology instructor Jessalyn Nash call for comprehensive enforcement of Marsy’s Law in a guest column in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. They believe justice wasn’t served in the case of Trystan Shelly, in part because the family was mistreated by a justice system “unfamiliar” with important aspects of Marsy's Law.” - HTN Foundation

 Trystan Nash Shelly, Randy Shelly and Jessalyn Nash

Published: Tuesday, July 5, 2011 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, July 4, 2011 at 3:20 p.m.

No one ever thinks they will lose a child. Neither did we, until our 21-year-old son, Trystan, was killed in August 2009 by an 18-year-old man with prior driving offenses.

Last year, we wrote a Close to Home piece about the importance of reforming teen licensing laws as a result of what happened to Trystan. Now, having been through the entire trial process, we are writing a follow-up piece for a different reason: to discuss the importance of victims' rights in the judicial system.

Although the driver who killed our son was eventually found guilty of vehicular manslaughter, we don't feel that justice was served, not only because of the three-month sentence he received, but because of how we were treated by the judicial system. As a result, we're committed to helping other crime victims and their families.