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.
2004 Crime Victims’ Rights Act
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 for all cases and shouldn’t be so. Vengeance
Personally I do believe that vengeance does fix anything. Punishment should be a form of vengeance but a form of deterrence, detainment, and rehabilitation of the offender so that he or she will not cause any more harm to others. Vengeance does not bring the people that have been lost back. Fixing the issues can prevent more casualties from happening. The American “tough on crime” stance taken by elected officials from across the political spectrum has not halted the resurgence of crime in the last few years, nor has it helped prevent ex-inmates from once again ending up behind bars. The criminal justice system needs to spend more money in the parole, probation, and rehabilitation structure because clearly “punishment” alone isn’t working. Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP)
I agree with the actions of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests because it is an organization that specializes in helping women and men wounded by religious authority figures such as priests, ministers, bishops, deacons, nuns and others. Before SNAP many sexual abused cases were not reported or taken to court. The SNAP organization helps the victims of a sexual abuse crime by a religious authority get the information, support, and psychological help that they need. Its claims have been validated, and a few though hardly all of its recommendations have been implemented by the church hierarchy. SNAP’s advocacy on the Catholic scandal also helped push the reality of sexual abuse into the public consciousness to the point that victims can regularly win in courts and get a hearing in the media, and they are much more likely to come forward to tell their stories, whether they were abused by clergy or by athletic coaches or Boy Scout leaders.
Crime Victims’ Rights Act
http://www.justice.gov/usao/eousa/vr/crime_victims.html Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests http://www.snapnetwork.org/resources Crime Victims’ Rights http://www.ovc.gov/rights/legislation.html Crime, Punishment and Vengeance in the Age of Mass Imprisonment http://www.alternet.org/story/50464/crime,_punishment_and_vengeance_in_the_age_of_mass_imprisonment