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Victim advocacy group names Lee County DA prosecutor of the year
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Victim advocacy group names Lee County DA prosecutor of the year

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An Alabama victim advocacy organization named Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes Alabama Prosecutor of the Year and honored another member of the Lee County District’s Attorney Office for her work with crime victims.

VOCAL, an Alabama’s victim advocacy organization, recognized Hughes and Melissa Cupit as Alabama Victim Service Officer of the Year on Friday.

“Being named the VOCAL Prosecutor of the Year for the state of Alabama is unquestionably the highest honor of my 18 years as a prosecutor,” Hughes said. “There is no higher calling, no greater responsibility for a prosecutor than that of victim advocate.”

Hughes said that when he first began in his position that he wanted his office to be victim-centered.

“No one is more affected by crime than the victim and their loved ones, and it’s so important that we as prosecutors always remember that,” he said. “The greatest validation a prosecutor can receive is when a crime victim or their family says, ‘Thank you.”'

Hughes added that he accepted the award on behalf of the victims.

“I take this opportunity to tell them ‘Thank you’ for the impact each of them has had on me,” he said.

Cupit, a litigation assistant with the district attorney’s office, said she is honored to receive her award.

“Being able to serve victims and their families during the most difficult time in their life has been such an honor and a privilege,” she said. “Their worries and their concerns become my worries and my concerns. To be able, however small, to help ease their pain is my life’s passion.

“I have made some lifelong friendships with these families, and that is my true accolade. I am honored to receive this award not on behalf of myself, but on behalf of every crime victim and their families.”

VOCAL was established in 1982 and was organized to create what it considers a more balanced justice system.

“The same system that victims expected to protect them was hampered due to the aggressive efforts to ensure the rights of the offenders were protected,” VOCAL’s website reads. “VOCAL’s goal has been to balance the scales of justice by giving crime victims those same rights rather than eroding the rights of the offender.”

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