Mr. Speaker, Kenneth Lee Boyd committed a violent and vicious crime on the evening of March 4, 1988, in North Carolina. On that night, Boyd armed himself with a .357 Magnum pistol and committed cold-blooded murder against members of his very own family.

On that evening, Boyd picked up his children from his father-in-law's home and told the boys they were going for pizza. But that was a lie. With the pistol sitting in the seat of the car between Boyd and his children, he went back to his father-in-law's home, a place where his estranged wife was staying.

His 13-year-old son, Christopher, sensing something was up, tried to hide that pistol. And when Boyd pulled up to his father-in-law's driveway, Christopher, frightened, jumped from the car and ran to warn his grandparents and his mother.

Boyd then approached the house and began his shocking shooting spree. He first shot and killed his father-in-law, Thomas Curry, through the door. He then found his estranged wife in the doorway of her bedroom. He shot her several times and then went outside and reloaded his murder weapon, came back and shot her some more. In the end, it was decided Julie Boyd was shot a total of eight times.

Boyd went back outside, shot some more, and this time at his brother-in-law, Craig Curry, who was moving Boyd's children and a nephew to a wooded area to safety. The bullet missed Craig, who was trying to hide in the woods.

Boyd then returned to the home, called 911, informed the operator he had just killed his wife and father-in-law and told them to come get him. When the police arrived, he surrendered.

Last week, finally, Kenneth Boyd became the 1,000th execution to take place in the United States since the Supreme Court allowed the death penalty to resume in 1976. Last week, Kenneth Boyd was finally punished for his sins and crimes that he committed over 17 years ago.

Last week, when justice was served, the weak-kneed do-gooders and media had a heyday. Headlines surfaced and everyone focused on the number 1,000. Boyd was portrayed as a martyr. If the media was so gung ho keeping score, why did very few of them also report the number 558,000?

Mr. Speaker, this higher number is the total number of murder victims since the ruling in 1976. That is 558,000 people murdered by killers here in the United States. And who is carrying the torch for their cause? We continuously hear about the murderers, but we hear very little about the victims of crime.

Mr. Speaker, as a former judge and prosecutor, I have witnessed firsthand how victims are being treated in the justice system. Being a victim is a terrifying and unforgettable nightmare; then to become a victim at the hands of the criminal justice system is shameful, especially in a system that claims to have justice for all. The first duty of government must be to protect its citizens and victims, and victims should never be ignored to the benefit of criminals.

A Federal judge in Houston is now playing his role in overlooking the victims of crime as well. In June 1994, Charles Raby was sentenced to death for the 1992 slaying of 72-year-old Edna Franklin. Her throat was slit twice, her ribs were broken, and her body was stabbed numerous times with a knife. Charles Raby is currently on death row waiting to be executed, but he has filed another lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of lethal injection on the grounds it is cruel and unusual punishment.

U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes recently denied a motion by the State Attorney General to dismiss Raby's ridiculous claim, and now he will be given access to State documents and employees to try to prove this worthless claim. This man brutally killed a 72-year-old woman with a knife and Judge Hughes is concerned his execution may be painful. Where was this Federal judge when Edna Franklin was brutally executed? This ought not to be.

Mr. Speaker, victims deserve to be treated better than this. We as a culture must not stand by and do nothing while those 558,000 were murdered and others hurt in our country. We must support victims of crime, and we must make sure the criminals who commit crimes against them pay for those acts of violence.

There are too many victims who cannot stand up for their own rights, and so it is up to us as concerned citizens, justice officials, public policymakers, and Members of this Congress to stand up for the rights of every homicide victim in this Nation to honor their memories through action. By continuing our commitment to helping the families and friends of murdered victims, and promoting a crime policy that ensures a place at the table of justice for them, we honor those lives that were stolen by senseless violence.

The theme of the 2005 National Crime Victims Week put it best: Justice is not served until crime victims are. That is just the way it is.