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Russell P. Butler

2016 Crime Victims’ Rights Award | National Crime Victims’ Service Awards
Watch the tribute video

Russell P. Butler | Crime Victims’ Rights Award
Maryland Crime Victims' Resource Center, Inc.
Upper Marlboro, Maryland

Russell P. Butler, Esq., has been a pioneer in securing landmark legislation and crime victim advocacy in the State of Maryland for over 30 years. Since 1985, he has been the main author of most victim related bills that provide rights and services to crime victims in the State of Maryland. 

Because of Mr. Butler’s efforts, for the first time, crime victims were defined as individuals with legal interests in criminal justice proceedings. Those rights included the fundamental rights to fair treatment and the expansion of victim impact statements. Mr. Butler was also instrumental in the initiative supporting the Maryland State Constitution amendment for victims’ rights (which became law in 1994). 

Today, and as a result of his efforts toward the amendment, Maryland has an effective template for the treatment of crime victims. This template provides that in all cases, all crime victims be treated with dignity and respect, and that victims in cases filed by information or indictment in circuit court have a right to be notified of their rights and to be informed of their case status. As a result of his efforts, Maryland crime victims have the right to be present at criminal justice proceedings to which a defendant has a similar right. 

Mr. Butler also developed a prototype legal clinic to represent crime victims regarding their legal rights. The clinic represented crime victims in Maryland; the District of Columbia; federal courts in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, and Utah; and the United States Courts of Appeals in the Third, Fourth, Sixth, and Tenth Circuits. 

Mr. Butler’s leadership is shown in his unwavering commitment to his passion in helping crime victims receive equal treatment under the law. He has spent his lifetime advocating for the adoption of statutory, rule, and administrative changes involving victims’ rights, services, sentencing, corrections, and related issues. Mr. Butler currently serves as the Executive Director for Maryland’s Crime Victims’ Resource Center, where he continues his calling to champion victims’ rights.

2016 National Crime Victims' Service Awards Tribute Video

Watch this video to learn more about Russell P. Butler, 2016 recipient of the Crime Victims’ Rights Award.