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Victims' Rights and Vengeance

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Submitted By bgrd330i
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CJA/324
12/22/14

Victims’ Rights and Vengeance
I believe that current state of victims’ right in America is better than it has been in the past thirty years. Thirty years ago, victims had few legal rights to be informed, present and heard within the criminal justice system. Victims did not have to be notified of court proceedings or of the arrest or release of the defendant, they had no right to attend the trial or other proceedings, and they had no right to make a statement to the court at sentencing or at other hearings. Moreover, victim assistance programs were virtually non-existent. Today, every state has an extensive body of basic rights and protections for victims of crime within its statutory code. Victims' rights statutes have significantly influenced the manner in which victims are treated within the federal, state, and local criminal justice systems. I believe that the 2004 Crimes Victims’ Rights Act has been effective to some extent. The CRVA helps victims assert and encourage enforcement of victims’ rights. It promotes compliance with victims’ rights laws. Funds grant programs and other activities to implement provisions. Provides an enforcement mechanism for rights delineated in the Act. The CRVA may legitimately consider to go too far and give victims undue rights at the expense of a fair trial. For instance, it allows them to “be heard" at any proceedings related to the offence, regardless as to whether or not their input is relevant or appropriate. It is based on a very naive view of crime and criminal procedure; it assumes that all victims are innocent people attacked by dangerous criminals. However, a lot of "crime victims" don't fit that category- many crimes have no clear victim, some victims are large corporations, and in a very large percentage of cases, the victims are criminals themselves. This amendment isn't necessarily appropriate...

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