Current State of Victims’ Rights in United States

Victim’s rights are deemed as legal rights provided for victims of crime and they includes rights to reimbursement, the right not be expelled from criminal justice proceedings, and also the freedom to offer views during criminal justice hearings. Apparently, the Crime Victims’ Right Movement within United States was instigated based on the idea that, at the late modern period (1800-1970), the American impartiality system had wandered too far from its victim-centric foundations. Starting from 1970s, this movement has worked its best to ensure victims are given meaningful considerations during criminal proceedings, since it is aimed at ascertaining that individual victims are legally recognized participants in immense issues through voice, interests, and rights.  Otherwise, this project is focused at providing detailed information concerning current state of victim’s rights in United States (Nunez, 2011).

During the last twenty years, victims and their activists have relentlessly championed for heightened victim participation in the criminal integrity system. Despite of United States responding slowly to this claim, tremendous actions have been and are still continuing to be made within the victim’s rights avenue. Currently, this state has provided an extensive body of primary rights and protections for victims of crime in its constitutional code. Precisely, victims’ rights law have essentially influenced the way into which sufferers are treated in the local, state and federal criminal justice systems. At this juncture, there have been provided various rights including right to seek for compensation; right to attend criminal justice hearings; right to participate and to be heard within criminal justice hearings; right to protection from harassment and intimidation; right to restitution from the offender; right to speedy trial; right to prompt return of individual property taken as evidence; and also the right to be notified of events and proceedings within the criminal justice process, of authorized remedies and rights, and of available activities (Mosteller, 2006).

Generally, nearly two-third of the United States has adopted modifications to their state constitutions warranting rights to crime’s victims. The inclusion of the crime victims’ right in American constitution has been confirmed to heighten the permanence, strength and facilitating enforceability of victims’ rights. To be specific, the process of incorporating of these rights in constitution has provided them with a higher degree of permanence since they cannot be changed at any time without application of legislative course. Indeed, crime victims’ rights are strongly unchangeable since their alteration has to be done through constitutional amendment procedures which entails passing them through all houses of legislative consisting of two-third of the majority. In connection to this, allowing victims’ rights through constitutional manner is a significant way of providing protection, since state agency or official cannot violate a constitutional right so long as the court has the authority to order that agency or officials need to comply with the constitution (Kim & Hreshchyshyn, 2004).

For instance, California is the leading state within United States to adopt constitutional amendment giving rights to crime victims. In the modest scope, the Victims’ Bill of Rights amendments vary from region to region, whereas many are limited to felonies’ victims of offenses violent. In some jurisdictions, primary rights are only provided to felonies’ victims only, whereas others are afforded to individuals subjected to violent crime, whether misdemeanour and felony. In United States, many laws has widened victims’ rights to the present family members of a given homicide sufferer, or towards guardian, parent, or other relevant minor persons, incompetent or disabled victim. Moreover, victim’s legal representatives or various individuals designated by the victim are provided with authority of exercising these rights on behalf of the victims. In addition to the general rights for crime martyrs, diverse jurisdictions have established special rights for given groups of crime victims with special requirements. These victimization falls into various categories including sexual assault, domestic stalking or violence, or sufferers who are young, elderly, or victims contained with disabilities (Kim & Hreshchyshyn, 2004).

The provision of crime victims’ right has led to diverse implications. Foremost, this has been viewed as amongst effectual means of offering rights of expression to all civilian despite the condition they are subjected into. It is through this statute that victims are allowed to tenaciously fight for the effectiveness for offering their views in justice process through application of victim impact statements. In connection to this, victim right has also depleted chances of individuals being depleted and oppressed in various hearings hence promoting just, accountability and transparency in immense proceedings. As a result, all the victims are always judged through fair trial since they are given chance to defend themselves as well as claiming for basic necessities that support effectual and effective livelihood (Silove, 2009).

While summing up, crime victims’ rights have also deployed chances of existence of prejudice through guaranteeing that that all victims are facing similar judgements and penalties. Actually, victim’s rights are legal rights provided for victims of crime and they includes rights to reimbursement, the right not be expelled from criminal justice proceedings, and also the freedom to offer views during criminal justice hearings (Cellini, 2007). In conclusion, this essay has provided detailed information concerning current state of victim’s rights in United States.

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