Our View: Life, liberty and justice ... not for every one of us
In June, the office responsible for verification of victims of North Carolina's forced sterilization program from 1929 to 1974 closed following a state budget omission for compensation. At that time, the N.C. Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation had identified 161 eugenics victims in 57 counties, including three from Ashe County, out of about 7,600 North Carolinians who were sterilized by the authority of the N.C. Eugenics Board.
Now, following a technical corrections bill's last-minute adjustment to the state budget, the Victims Foundation office is once more able to process potential claims.
Unfortunately, compensation is still a recommendation rather than a reality, and victims with proven claims will receive scant “justice.” “Once more into the breach,” indeed.
It was never a wise course to pursue victims' justice on the premise, and promise, that both House and Senate would come to an agreement on compensation. That agreement should have been firmly in place from Day 1. Instead, the cart leads the horse, and victims today receive identification and verification, but little vindication.
This is not the first time we have said that no amount of compensation can rectify the evil foisted upon nearly 8,000 of our state's most poor, uneducated or mentally ill citizens.
Still, an attempt to right these wrongs is the honorable course.
But where is the honor in this — naming the victim of a crime — if the pursuit of justice is left to wither on the Senate floor?