‘Standard practice’

America’s commitment to criminal justice is deep rhetorically and financially. Victims, though, get a huge heap of one and almost none of the other. Justice — police and prisons — get fed like national defense. Victim services are treated like most social programs, which is to say they are starved in good times and slashed in bad. Those who do get some economic justice usually do so through civil lawsuits.

On that, The New York Times’ Serge Kovaleski brings some good news. The Las Vegas shooting victims and their families may get the first crack at the accused’s assets, before he can spend millions on his defense. And Kovaleski delivers the bad news lightly.

While payouts to victims of mass shootings have become standard practice, turning a dead perpetrator’s estate into a fund for such a large number of victims is new territory.”

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