For a very long time, crime victims have been neglected by not being considered in the legal process whereby offenders are prosecuted and sentenced. This was because their rights had not be considered as part of the constitution. After some time, there was an introduction of a list of rights expected to be offered for crime victims, but the issue is that there was no legal grounds to act as punishment in case these were violated. Today, the case is completely different, as victims have rights which are enacted in the constitution, and have a legal route to follow in case of violation. This paper features the crime victims’ rights act and how they have progressed over the past few years.
The Significant Manner In Which The Crime Victims Rights Act Protects The Rights Of Crime Victims
Approximately 30 years back, crime victims had few legal rights within the criminal justice system. Victims had no right to be updated on the court proceedings, nor were they even offered victim assistance programs. Fortunately, tremendous changes have taken place as there has been a creation of legal rights and assistance programs for crime victims (Cassell, Mitchell & Edwards, 2014). Today, all states have established an extensive body that promotes the basic rights and protections for crime victims within the statutory code. The Crime Victims’ Rights Act protects the right of victims by influencing how they are treated within the state, federal and local criminal justice systems. By including the crime victims’ rights in the state constitution, the strength, permanence and enforceability of rights of victims are increased (Cassell, 2005). The crime victims’ rights act is strong, because no law can violate a provision of the U.S constitution. These rights protect crime victims by ensuring that no matter the court being used, the constitution will still ensure their rights are enforced.
This piece of legislation is effective as crime victims of today are protected and supported. Only a few states offered recourse for victims whose rights are not honored. This is inclusive of states that had adopted the constitutional amendments. There was usually no clear civil action to take when a victim suffers from damages resulting from a violation of rights. In most cases, when a crime victim’s right is violated, there was no grounds for new trials or even an overturning of a sentence (Musgrove & Groves, 2007). Enforceability was further restricted as the bill of rights does not create a cause of action against the state.
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