Knoxville non-profit remembers homicide victims in Nashville

Johnia Berry was murdered more than 10 years ago.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Joan Berry’s daughter was murdered in 2004. Since then, she’s been dedicated to fighting for victims’ right, working tirelessly with other victims’ families to try and change legislation.

April 2-8 is National Crime Victims Rights Week. The non-profit Berry started, Hope For Victims, has a display at the Legislative Plaza in Nashville on April 4-5. She is asking for families of loved ones killed in homicides to send share a photo to be part of the display.

Joan Berry and her murdered daughter Johnia.

High-resolution photos can be emailed to hopeforvictims@gmail.com or 8×10 inch photos can be mailed to 1014 Middleton Place, Knoxville, TN 37923. Berry said photos must be received by March 20.

Recently, Hope for Victims has been pushing East Tennessee lawmakers to make violent offenders to stay in jail longer through “through in sentencing.” Berry wants lawmakers to look at Virginia as an example. Virginia does have a truth in sentencing law wherein offenders must serve 85 percent of their sentence. However, in Tennessee, offenders are eligible for parole after serving 33 percent.

The group has also pushed for other legislation, such as the Victims Rights Photo Bill, which was signed into law in 2015. The law allows a photo of a victim to be admissible as evidence in a trial and show what the person looked like while alive.

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