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Victims’ Rights and Vengeance Essay

There have been many alterations to the legal rights and assistance programs to better serve victims of crime. In every state, there are considerable rights in order to protect these victims. The statues of Victims’ rights influence how the victims are treated within the criminal justice system. “This was the key goal of the sweeping changes in the 2004 Crime Victims Act (CVRA), which became the “cutting edge of the third wave of victims’ rights.” (B. YU.L.Rev, 2005). “There are eight basic rights that crime victims have, the section 3771(a) provides these rights: 1. The right to be reasonably protected from the accused.

2. The right to reasonably, accurate, and timely notice of any public court proceeding, or any parole proceeding, involving the crime or of any release of escape of the accused. 3. 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. 4. The right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district court involving release, plea, sentencing, or any parole proceeding. 5. The reasonable right to confer with the attorney for the Government in the case. 6. The right to full and timely restitution as provided by law. 7. The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay.

8. The right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim’s dignity and privacy.” (Cohen, 2006). “The CVRA provides that victims may choose to have their own attorney and seek to assert the rights to be present and participate in the criminal proceeding. In the district court, a victim may make a motion for relief, including a motion to reopen a plea agreement. (18 U.S.C § 3771 (d) (5).) If the district court denies a victims motion, the CVRA provides for an expedited appellate review process. (Maryland also allows the victim to be represented by an attorney before the appellate courts. A crime victim may petition for a writ of mandamus, and the court of appeals must decide the petition within seventy two hours” (Mermelstein, M. & Amer, S. M. (2013). The CVRA “contemplates active review of orders denying crime victims’ rights claims even in routine cases.” (Boland and Butler, 2009). “The 2004 Crime Victims Act (CVRA) came into effect to make sure that the victims were properly being taken care of and had an option to voice when it came to the defendant who victimized them.

This law has been threatened many times. This law has also been amended many times as well. According to the Crime Victims’ Rights Act 18 U.S. C. § 3771. This law allows the victim to be protected against the accuser. Sometimes this law is violated and the victim is not treated fairly. Most of the states have set laws as well as constitutional amendments that will make sure that the victims are protected within the criminal justice system. “Many victims try to assert their rights only to be turned down by the court”, (Boland and Butler, 2009) and in my opinion the judicial system has not upheld the law by not allowing that victims receive the full justice they very well deserve. In my opinion about vengeance, it is never appropriate in any circumstance, even with breaking the law. “This mortal vengeance seems a natural response but, as the myth makes clear, it invites further vengeance. The second truth, therefore, is that murder answered by revenge inspires revenge in its turn.

To this cycle of retributive vengeance there is no end. In other words of Mohandas Gandhi, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” (Cohen, 2006). I feel vengeance can be a never ending cycle, it can keep continuing, one act after another. I also feel that the person that first intentionally hurt another person, and that person turns around and hurt the first person, they are just as bad of a person as the first person is. I really have to agree with what the Survivors Network does for the victims of crime. It helps them with the healing process and to overcome trauma that has happened to them. This network helps the victim to cope with what has happened to them. I feel this helps so they won’t participate in revengeful activity upon the accuser. The Survivors Network is helpful to the victims, as well as the victims’ families.


University of Phoenix. (2007). Vengeance Time. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, CJA/324 website University of Phoenix. (2009). Crime Victims’ Rights: From Illusion to Reality. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, CJA/324 website University of Phoenix. (2006). The victims’ rights and the furies in American courts. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, CJA/324 website. Mermelstein, M. (2013). From Victim to Victor: Corporate Crime in the Internet Era. Retrieved from http://www.americanbar.org/publications/blt/2013/11/01_mermelstein.html

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