DA Conley Lends Support to Burial Funds for Homicide Victims’ Families

BOSTON, Sept. 12, 2017— Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley today submitted testimony supporting state legislation that would help survivors of homicide victims bury their loved ones with dignity.

“Providing all families of homicide victims with some modest assistance to bury their loved ones with dignity is an act of compassion and support for grieving families and reduces pain and trauma for many in the community as well,” Conley said.

Conley offered written testimony to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary in support of H. 742, “An Act Amending Victim Compensation,” which would ease restrictions on access to financial assistance for a homicide victim’s funeral, burial, and/or cremation through the state’s Victims of Violent Crime Compensation fund.  Under the current law, survivors of homicide can receive up to $8,000 in compensation, but some families may not eligible on a finding that “the victim’s acts or conduct provoked or contributed to” his or her homicide.  Conley offered his support for changes to the law that would allow all families of murder victims to receive help paying their loved one’s final expenses.

“I fully understand and recognize that in some instances, individuals make choices that provoke or contribute to their deaths.  But I am also certain that all lives are deserving of dignity and respect and that whatever a person’s life choices, somewhere a mother or father or loved one wanted better for them,” Conley said.  “H. 742 merely ensures that any family of someone who is a victim of homicide will be afforded the basic human decency of burying their loved one with dignity.”

H. 742 was presented by Rep. Evandro C. Carvalho, a former Suffolk prosecutor.  Additional information on the bill can be found here.