The Rittenhouse Common Pleas Court clerk in Philadelphia was disallowed from using the word “victims” in court last week when he attempted to point out discrimination among 12 accused killers who were given lighter sentences than the courts found them guilty of.
Dwayne Roszell called the men who had been convicted of murder and given more than 25 years in prison a “victim” for their then higher murder rates.
Roszell tried twice to speak during the sentencing part of the sentencing.
“We have several sitting here who not only violated the law, but broke the very law and shot people and killed people. And they got the maximum sentences under the law. And we are not going to punish them for that. We are going to punish them for killing.”
Ultimately, the judges in the case ruled that Roszell was speaking outside the courtroom.
“It’s more than words. It’s how we treat people. It’s what we stand for and it’s how we live,” said Roszell to the Daily News.
Shortly after an outraged Trump administration released a statement blasting the case.
“It’s outrageous that a Philadelphia judge failed to consider statements made by victims to the court before considering lighter sentences for 12 defendants convicted of murder,” the statement reads. “These sentences are meant to give the victims of these heinous crimes a measure of closure and send a message to the community. Judge Roszell’s decision to disregard those victims’ input does nothing to achieve that end. We are committed to working with the administration of justice to ensure that judges in Pennsylvania fully understand the term ‘victim.’”