Free Essay

Victims’ Rights and Vengeance

In: Social Issues

Submitted By rvasquez6
Words 1024
Pages 5
Victims’ Rights and Vengeance
Rudy Vasquez

CJS/211
June-06-2016

Victims’ Rights and Vengeance

In today’s justice system victims of crimes and family members who have been affected, have more rights than they have ever had in the past and they are able to let their concerns, pains, and emotions be heard. In 2002, a cousin around the same age of myself was shot multiple times on a busy street in central Fresno and a few short hours later, died in the hospital. At the time of the trial I was stationed in Japan and was not able to attend the court proceedings, because of my distance, my family asked me to write a letter to the judge. I was under the impression that it was just in case the judge was able to get around to it that he or she would. I wrote my emotional letter and eventually the case ended with the accused being sent to prison for a few years. In 2012 while I was deployed in Afghanistan, a horrible thing happened to a very young niece of mine. A family member was sent to jail, multiple families were torn apart, and months of court dates followed. I returned towards the end of the court proceedings, and the lawyer asked multiple family members to write letters of describing the emotional stresses that have occurred and how lives have been affected by this act of misplaced and horrible misuse of trust and if they would be able to read them in court in order to help with sentencing. Everyone let their emotions flow and sadness and grief took the courtroom, and in the end a seven year sentence was ordered.

The two articles that we read for this was “Crime Victims’ Rights: From Illusion to Reality” and Vengeance Time”. The first article helped me to better understand what I was not aware of before, and that was that victims and had many rights when it came to a suspect’s trial. The
Victims’ Rights and Vengeance

only thing I truly knew about court, was that the victims had the right to testify and have the court hear their side of the story. I believe that the current state of victims’ rights has advanced far from the times where a victim represented themselves in court. As with my own family, more victims are provided with more rights, better treatment and are well informed not only during a trial but after as well. Along with the sentence of the guilty individual in my cousins’ death, my aunt was well informed of upcoming possible parole dates and when the time came, of the individuals release date as well. Although she dreaded the day that he would be set free, that right to know in advance offered her the time to be emotionally stable and not be a complete mess if she just so happened to see that person somewhere.

Vengeance

Sure, who hasn’t wanted vengeance when they have been hurt or wronged in some way? I know personally, I have wanted to get vengeance a time or two. I was almost not allowed to return home at the time of my cousins’ death because my leadership had it in their mind that due to the circumstances, I would be involved in some sort of street justice and they would not see me again. Luckily for them, I was not coming home to play the “Punisher”, but just to grieve with family and to put my cousin to rest. Besides, the individual was already in jail. However, for both points in time mentioned here, the thought had crossed my mind. Even though both of the individuals were in jail, there were still ways of getting things to happen. Although the thought of them suffering even a little, I knew that they were in jail and soon enough vengeance
Victims’ Rights and Vengeance

would be had in the legal way of the law. In my eyes, I do not feel that it is ever right to go out and get your own vengeance. What would it accomplish? Sure, it may solve your pain or anger for a moment, but what about everyone else? Will it give some sort of closure to those family members of either side, or will it leave many more unanswered questions? If a person was to get revenge or vengeance, and get caught, then how many more people are going to be affected? Let the justice system do its job, it may not always seem right or fair, but the system is there for a reason.

Survivors Network

Do I agree with the actions of the Survivors Network? Yes, I do. If it was not for these people that have been through as much as they have, and becoming strong enough to tell their stories, the actions and crimes of members of the churches as well as the churches themselves would not be known today. There is no doubt in my mind that the issues with abuse would have continued to have been kept quiet. Just as these retired members have been living their lives as if they have never done any wrong, without the true courage and strength of people like the Survivors Network, they would continue on believing the lies that they have embedded in their minds. I believe that is the churches need to sell what they have and take away retirement funds in order to pay back for what evils have been done, then so be it. The guilty lost all that the moment they preyed on the individuals as children. Conclusion

Some may think that vengeance is the answer to their problems, when in reality, it just creates more then it fixes. I think that the true answer or the best way to go is through the proper legal avenues, how else are answers going to be answered and not leave you wondering, what happened or why? With the advances in victims’ rights, comparable to how they were not too long ago, there is no way to go but forward for the continued betterment of victims.

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Victims' Rights and Vengeance

...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....

Words: 663 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Victims Rights and Vengeance

...Victims’ Rights and Vengeance My personal stance on the current state of victims’ right in America is that even though rules have been changed in different states to protect the victims’ right there are still some things that need to be improved to help their safety. More should be done to help improve the safety of victims’ and their families from harm. There are so many victims that are unable to voice their words on things they see because they are afraid of something happening to them or their family. I do believe that the 2004 Crime Victims’ Right Acts has been successful because if it was not for Victims’ Right Acts, the victim and family would suffer greatly and victimizing will continue. The right to be reasonably protected from the accused, the right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any public court proceeding, or any parole proceeding, involving the crime or of any release or escape of the accused has helped victims since 2004 (Justice,2013). In my opinion it is not good to try to get revenge on someone because it can come back and hunt you or hurt you. When someone tries to get revenge back, that person is just as bad as the person who did harm first. Now, when it comes to children being harm by someone it is very hard not to react against the suspect with revenge because you want to see that person pay. Depending on your actions can cause the suspect to get acquitted or cause harm to the family....

Words: 866 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Victims Rights and Vengeance

...The cannibal cop: GILBERTO VALLE Jennifer Jones Dec-6-15 C.J.S/211 Col. Jack Shippee Gilberto Vale the man once known as the cannibal cop went on line fantasizing about raping, torchering, and murdering his wife along with other woman. He plotted with three other men there was the sadistic security guard the murderes mechanic and the loathing librarian. They talked for months about what they wanted to do. Gilberts wife was horrified After she saw on his computer what he wanted to do to her. “I was going to be tied up by my feet and my throat slit and they would have fun watching the blood gush out of me because I was young,” the wife of 28-year-old NYPD “cannibal cop” Gilberto Valle testified at his trial. She found that her husband planned to stuff one of her friends in a suitcase and murder her. Two other women were “going to be raped in front of each other to heighten their fears,” while another would be roasted alive over an open fire. Planned? Or fantasized? There’s no evidence that Officer Valle, on trial for conspiracy to kidnap, torture, kill and eat women, ever acted on his voreaphilia, a cannibalism fetish. If convicted, however, he faces up to 20 years in prison. George Orwell called it thought crime punishing people for their thoughts rather than their actions. The case of the cannibal cop or, more accurately, the wannabe cannibal cop is a perfect illustration of why a society can be tempted to try to monitor what goes on in people’s brains, and to...

Words: 1286 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Victim's Rights and Vengeance

...Victim's Rights and Vengeance Charles Hill CJS/211 February 22, 2016 Janet Evans Victim's Rights and Vengeance In 1982, President Ronald Reagan the President’s task force called “Victims of Crime Act of 1984” or “VOCA.” The passage of this law in 1984 was to balance the rights of criminals and victims. The law read as “Under United States Code Title 42, the establishment of crime victims’ rights, services and compensation in law enforcement, prosecution, courts, and corrections.” (Wood, 2008). Twenty years later President George W. Bush signed in to law “Crime Victims’ Rights Act in 2004” or “CVRA”. The difference between VOCA and CVRA is basically giving the victim more rights and a bigger role in the criminal justice process. The CVRA made following rights: * The right to be reasonably protected from the accused. * The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any public court proceeding, or any parole proceeding, involving the crime or any release or escape of the accused. * The right not to be excluded from any such public court proceeding, unless the court, after receiving clear and convincing evidence, determines that testimony by the victim would be materially altered if the victim heard other testimony at that proceeding. * The right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district court involving release, plea, sentencing, or any parole proceeding....

Words: 1159 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Victims and Vengeance

...Victims and Vengeance Ryan Cirilo CJA 324 March 25, 2013 University of Phoenix Victims and Vengeance Victim’s Rights In today’s justice system the victims have a lot of rights that they never had in the past and they are able to be heard. I never knew that victims had any rights when it came to the suspect’s trial. The only thing I was sure of was that the victims had the right to testify and have the court here their story. It is like the victim is part of the trial just as much as everyone else and has the exact same rights as well. I agree with victim’s rights because everyone should have the right to know what happens to the person that violated them and hope to see them get what they deserve. Giving the victims these types of rights might help certain ones cope with the situation that happened to them and it will help them get through it. It gives the victim power that they never had against the suspect. I do believe that the Crime Victims’ Rights Act of 2004 has been successful because it has given victims an opportunity to make a difference in the suspect’s case and to give them some power. The Act gave the victim’s rights such as to be present and public proceedings, to be heard at proceedings such as plea bargains, and to enforce their rights. I think one of the rights that stood out to me from the Act is the victims have the right to have their own attorney and seek to assert their rights to be present and participate in the criminal proceeding....

Words: 696 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Victims Rights and Vengenace

...Victims’ Rights and Vengeance Amanda Furniss CJS/211 August 11, 2015 Melissa Andrewjeski When it comes to Victims’ rights and vengeance, a lot has changed since victims’ rights first came about to the justice system. I believe that when it comes to a case, trial, and the decisions that are made, the victim has many rights. I do believe that the victim has the right to be kept up to date on any info concerning the suspect, any charges, any new trial dates, and any changes to the case. I also believe that the victims’ opinion on what the sentencing to the suspect is and should be important and considered when deciding the suspects sentencing. Not necessarily charging the offender with what the victim wants but taken into consideration. By the victims’ rights law allowing the victim to be present for the case proceedings, and plea bargains it gives the victim a voice in the case. The victims’ rights law allows the victim to voice their case to the court on the situation. It involves the Victim in the case now more than what the victim was back in the past. With all the changes that have been made to the Victims’ Rights Act, I can say I am happy with the changes. I feel as if the victims’ voice actually matters. The victim has the right to be heard just as much as anyone else. The 2004 Criminal Victims’ Rights Act opened more possibilities for the victim and I believe it has been more successful for the most part....

Words: 671 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Victims Rights

...And they have the right to enforcement of victim's rights. All of the rights should be enforced and protect the victim's rights. If the victim is a minor or a homicide victim the state will allow a parent, guardian to stand in the victim's place. Also people with a disability or incompetent person can also have someone exercise their rights on their behalf of the victim. Without a law for victims...

Words: 1028 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Vic Rights

...Victims’ Rights and Vengeance Martin Roth CJA/324 October 30th, 2014 William Rutten Victims Rights and Vengeance My personal view of the current state of victims’ rights in America is that there can and should be more involvement with the victims themselves. Some states such as Arizona have granted the right for victims to discuss the case with a prosecutor. Most other states see a private citizen as having no interest in whether the prosecutor brings charges against an offender or not. I see it as being very important that the victim is heard and not cast aside or only used as evidence for the prosecution. When the victim is removed from judicial process, the victim has little or no drive to cooperate. However the Victim-Offender Reconciliation Program gives the victim a chance to ask the offender “why?” as well as other questions in order to achieve some sort of peace within the victim as well as allow the opportunity for the offender to own up to the harm he or she has caused. The Victims of Crime Act of 2004 has indeed been successful in the last 10 years. According to Justice.gov (n.d.), the CVRA has changed drastically since its inception in 1984 by then president Ronald Regan. The current CVRA provides victims with many more rights than before. The CVRA has shown that victims have been taking a role in more cases than in the past. Since the CVRA has passed, the amount of victims taking a part in federal cases has more than tripled....

Words: 545 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Victim Rights

...Victims’ Rights and Vengeance Terence Goodman CJA/ 324 July 8, 2013 Keith Lima Victims’ Rights and Vengeance From the civil rights era of the 50’s and 60’s, I feel that victim’s rights have come a very long way. I know monetary compensation can never make up for a person civil rights being violated but that will help with any financial burden they may or potentially will have in the future. Programs like President Reagan’s National Victims’ Rights Week are good for spreading awareness to the situation while helping victims navigate the criminal justice system. A major contributor to victims’ rights can be credited to the success of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act (CVRA). I see this as a success because it helps gives victims a voice in which they can come together and enforce their rights so change can be made to better theirs and others circumstances. Not only is this program important for helping to fight for their rights but it also serve as a means of helping individuals get back on their feet. In my opinion, since “we the people” are the ones that write and enforce the laws, I think in some cases vengeance should be taken into consideration. Why not change a few laws to cater to the family of an individual that has fallen victim to a senseless crime. For example: is it fair that a person goes to jail for 20 years for taking an innocent persons life? No!...

Words: 387 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Victims Rights

...Victims’ Rights CJA 324 July 26, 2015 Introduction to Victim’s Rights As a nation we have both state and federal laws that establish a set of rights for victims of crime. Although these laws vary depending on the jurisdiction of the crime being investigated, they give victims the right to have certain information regarding their case, afford the victim a limited role in the process of seeking out justice, as well as granting special protections for the victim. Some states only recognize a victim as in individual who was harmed during the commission of a serious offense, or a felony, while other states grant victims’ rights to any individual harmed during a criminal act, whether it was a misdemeanor or a felony ("The National Center for Victims of Crime", 2012). Personal Stance While victims’ rights have come a long way over the years there is still a much longer way to go to go before we reach a point where victims are treated better than the criminals who committed the crime against them. According to the National Center for Victims of Crime (2012), “All states provide crime victim compensation to reimburse victims of violent crime for some of the out-of-pocket expenses that resulted from the crime. The purpose of compensation is to recognize victims' financial losses and to help them recover some of these costs. All states have a cap on the total compensation award for each crime, and not all crime-related expenses are covered....

Words: 1723 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Victims Rights

...Victims’ Rights CJA 324 July 26, 2015 Introduction to Victim’s Rights As a nation we have both state and federal laws that establish a set of rights for victims of crime. Although these laws vary depending on the jurisdiction of the crime being investigated, they give victims the right to have certain information regarding their case, afford the victim a limited role in the process of seeking out justice, as well as granting special protections for the victim. Some states only recognize a victim as in individual who was harmed during the commission of a serious offense, or a felony, while other states grant victims’ rights to any individual harmed during a criminal act, whether it was a misdemeanor or a felony ("The National Center for Victims of Crime", 2012). Personal Stance While victims’ rights have come a long way over the years there is still a much longer way to go to go before we reach a point where victims are treated better than the criminals who committed the crime against them. According to the National Center for Victims of Crime (2012), “All states provide crime victim compensation to reimburse victims of violent crime for some of the out-of-pocket expenses that resulted from the crime. The purpose of compensation is to recognize victims' financial losses and to help them recover some of these costs. All states have a cap on the total compensation award for each crime, and not all crime-related expenses are covered....

Words: 1723 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Ethics in Cj Week 5 Individual

...What is your personal stance on the current state of victim’s rights in America? It is my personal opinion that victim’s rights in America have made improvements over the years to accommodate all victims. The victims’ rights are designed to help all people who are victims of some sort of crime regardless of race or sex. Victims are allowed to voice his or her opinion in court so that it will be known how their life as well as the life of family members has been impacted by the crime. Do you believe that the 2004 Crime Victims Rights Act has been successful? Explain. Yes, it is my opinion that the 2004 Crime Victims Rights Act has been successful. Our country is seeing more victims able to voice their opinion about how the impact the crime committed has impacted their family both long and short term. Many think the voice of the victim goes unheard to protect the defendant. If that is true, I would like to see some changes be made because it is the life of the victim that has been impacted especially if the crime was murder. If the case involves a violent crime I feel the victims’ rights should be held at a higher standard. Is there ever a circumstance in which you feel vengeance is appropriate, even when it means breaking the law? Explain your response. I personally don’t feel that vengeance is appropriate. People tend to confuse revenge with punishment and concepts of justice....

Words: 499 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Should Capital Punishment Be Abolished or Retained

...In the last two centuries, as people have realized the importance of human rights, debates over capital punishment have never stopped. More and more people join the campaign against capital punishment, while the others defend it. However, either abolishing the death penalty or retaining it has inextricable problems. The writer’s opinion is that capital punishment will vanish from this planet someday in the future, but for a long span of time from now, to abolish it or not depends on the social situations of different countries. People who are against capital punishment, and advocate replacing it with lifetime imprisonment, list five reasons why they condemn it. Right to life is the first punch. In The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 3 says, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person” (1). Among all the human rights, right to life is the cornerstone and the carrier of all the other human rights. Deprivation of the right to life is equivalent to deprivation of all the rights, which is inhumane in modern society. On the other hand, capital punishment is a product of the old barbaric concept “an eye for an eye, a life for a life;” and it is actually vengeance killing. Nowadays, most societies do not agree with vengeance killing. Such a brute act does nothing but more harm. Criminals should be punished, rather than being killed for vengeance. In Europe, capital punishment is simply considered savage and has vanished from this continent....

Words: 2159 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Victim's Rights

...The 2004 Crime Victims’ Rights Act (CRVA) the has been marginally successful according to (Boland & Butler, 2009). We now see more victims being able to voice their case as a means of providing the court with the way these crimes have affected them and their families. Meaning that this act has provided victims with more rights, more treatment and services to address the violations or conditions suffered because of criminal acts, the voice of the victim is still somewhat suppressed and even excluded (2009). Often times the voice of the victim is excluded to protect the rights of the defendant. Some may argue that victims can now claim more restitution, damages or even inform sentencing by being able to attend sentencing hearings and express some thoughts and contentions, the CRVA still victimizes victims (Trueblood, 2011, p. 605). My personal stance is that I would like to see the victims' rights more favored than that of the defendant. Mostly because I feel it is the victim and their family that will suffer more than the defendant, especially in case that involves murder or homicide. Often times the defendant gets life in prison for these types of crimes and if that is the outcome the defendant and his or her family still have the ability to see one another or talk to each other. The victims never get that time back. In these types of cases I think it especially important to hold the victims' rights to a higher standard....

Words: 960 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Reflection Paper

...I believe the Constitution is protecting the rights of the citizens as it was meant to do. Although every member of society should be productive and law abiding, there are still those who will continue to break the laws; including those who hold high positions in our communities which society looks up to. There are some shady and unprofessional law enforcement officials, but I believe for the most part they want to uphold justice and provide protection and safety to the communities they work in. The court systems have some flaws in handing out sentences to criminals; they do their best to give the defendant and the victim protection through due process of the law. Victims have an opportunity to write a victim impact statement to let the Judge know how they were affected by the crime committed against them by the offender in hopes of seeing the criminal get the harshest sentence possible. Hendrix, N. & Inciardi, J. (2014) state, “In contrast with retribution, vengeance is the desire to punish criminals because society gains some measure of satisfaction from seeing or knowing that they are punished” (Pg. 261). What I did not realize was I did not look at the victim’s statements to the Judge at sentencing as a definition of vengeance; nor did I know vengeance was actually a category as part of the sentencing and punishment process. The correctional system has defects in how it supervises and oversees inmates who come out of the prison...

Words: 807 - Pages: 4