Rights of Federal Crime Victims

Published: 2017-12-28 11:54:50
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Vanderbilt University
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The period between 1970s and 1980s saw relentless endeavors by the victims rights movement. Progressively, these endeavors stirred programs aimed at assisting and protecting crime victims at local, state, and federal levels. In a nutshell, a crime victim alludes to a person or an entity (excluding government agencies) that has been harmed by the commission of a criminal offense. Subsequently, the FBI investigates numerous crimes on the constructs of the United States Federal Criminal Code. During such investigations and prosecutions of federal crimes, underlying crime victims are accorded an array of rights and services as stipulated by the federal law. Whereas the eight rights of federal crime victims have proven immensely valuable to the protection of crime victims over the past, they are not sufficient.

First, these rights do not accord the victims the primary opportunity to be actively involved in plea agreement processes. The exclusion of federal crime victims in plea negotiations deprives them of plausible participation in the execution of justice. What’s more, following the enactment of victim rights legislation, respective victims have had the opportunity to take part in criminal proceedings. The legislation in various states has progressively provided a platform for the victims to channel their opinions on sentencing hence their active participation and significant role in the process of justice execution. Be that as it may, this is yet to be reciprocated on the federal level. Furthermore, crime victims in several states, are yet to be entitled to a right to take active parts in the administration of justice.

In synopsis, rights of federal crime victims have proven to be immensely valuable since their legislation. However, these rights are not sufficient. The federal government should incorporate various aspects such as but not limited to the victims’ participation in plea negotiations, the nature and sensitivity as well as the impact of the underlying crime. In addition, although some states provide crime victims the right to significant prosecutorial consultation, this is yet to be mirrored on the federal level.  

sheldon

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