Victims' Rights


Victim movements in the U.S. grew in the 1970s. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

's Task Force on Victims of Crime released its Final Report. The report drew attention to the re-victimization of crime victims within the criminal justice system. It contained 68 recommendations for service providers and government officials, many of which are mandated through victims' rights legislation today.

Victims of Crime Act (VOCA)

VOCA established the Crime Victims Fund
Crime Victims Fund
The federal Crime Victims Fund is used to recompense victims of offenses against U.S. law. The fund was established as part of the 1984 Victims of Crimes Act. The special assessment on convicted persons is paid into this fund, as well as certain other criminal fines and penalties, and forfeited...

, which awards grants to crime victim compensation programs, victim notification systems, and victim assistance programs. The Fund is financed by offender fees.

Crime Victims' Rights Act of 2004

The Crime Victims' Rights Act
Crime Victims' Rights Act
The Crime Victims' Rights Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3771, is part of the United States Justice for All Act of 2004, Pub. L. No. 108-405, 118 Stat. 2260 . The CVRA enumerates the rights afforded to victims in federal criminal cases...

, part of the Justice for All Act of 2004, enumerates the rights afforded to victims in federal criminal cases. The Act grants victims the following rights:
  1. The right to protection from the accused,
  2. The right to notification,
  3. The right to attend proceedings,
  4. The right to speak at criminal justice proceedings,
  5. The right to consult with the prosecuting attorney,
  6. The right to restitution
    The law of restitution is the law of gains-based recovery. It is to be contrasted with the law of compensation, which is the law of loss-based recovery. Obligations to make restitution and obligations to pay compensation are each a type of legal response to events in the real world. When a court...

  7. The right to a speedy trial
    Speedy trial
    Speedy trial refers to one of the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution to defendants in criminal proceedings. The right to a speedy trial, guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment, is intended to ensure that defendants are not subjected to unreasonably lengthy incarceration prior to a fair...

  8. The right to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect.

The Crime Victims' Rights Act was named for Scott Campbell, Stephanie Roper, Wendy Preston, Louarna Gillis, and Nila Lynn, murder victims whose families were denied some or all of the rights granted by the Act in the course of their cases.

U.S. State-Granted Rights

Many states have adopted constitutional amendments
Victims' Rights Amendment
In the United States, the Victims' Rights Amendment is a provision which has been included in some state constitutions, proposed for others, and additionally has been proposed for inclusion in the United States Constitution. Its provisions vary from state to state but are usually somewhat similar...

guaranteeing rights to victims of crime. The scope of such amendments varies by state, but generally include some or all elements of the Crime Victims' Rights Act.
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