Article: "Ubi Jus, Ibi Remedium" - Sed Non Hodie:* Bandoni v. State of Rhode Island, a Ten Year Retrospective. Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2008 Roger Williams University Law Review
Roger Williams University Law Review

Article: "Ubi Jus, Ibi Remedium" - Sed Non Hodie:*

Bandoni v. State of Rhode Island, a Ten Year Retrospective.

* "Where there is a right, there is a remedy "...but not today.

Summer, 2008


13 Roger Williams U. L. Rev. 594


Marty C. Marran**


I. Introduction

On July 21, 1998 the opinion in Bandoni v. State of Rhode Island, 1 was handed down by the Rhode Island Supreme Court. Now, some ten years later, it continues to astound the mind and shock the collective conscience of those deeply concerned not only with the rights of crime victims in Rhode Island, but more importantly, with the Supreme Court's exceedingly myopic view of its own power and function as the protector of the State Constitution and of the sacred rights enumerated therein. That day marked the utter demise of Article I, Section 23 of the Rhode Island Constitution, the "Crime Victim's Rights Amendment," enacted a scant twelve years before. In a four-to-one decision the Supreme Court abrogated any and all effective means of enforcing that Amendment, and in so doing it shamefully surrendered its own supreme judicial authority to the State Legislature. That day has now passed into Rhode Island's judicial history, but as the late composer Irving Berlin once musically noted: "The Song Is Ended (But the Melody Lingers On.").

Only one Justice dissented. 2 He did so most heroically and with an eloquence far surpassing the meager abilities of this writer. At the outset it is urged that the opinion and dissent should be read carefully and in total, that the reader might better appreciate the significance of the opinions and hopefully, the importance of devising a means by which the Crime Victim's Amendment may yet be revived and restored.

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