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Victims and Crime Evaluation 1

Running Head: VICTIMS AND CRIME EVALUATION











Victims and Crime Evaluation
Steven Griffiths
CJA354
David Harrison
22OCT12










Victims, the Crime, and the Aftermath
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Experiencing the overwhelming traumatic events of being an individual who was victimized is
something no one should ever want to experience at all in their lifetime. A victim (by rough definition) is
an individual, regardless of what title they may hold (doctor, police officer, pizza delivery man) who has
been the victim of a crime or any kind of wrong doing for a specific purpose where the criminal has acted
upon. More often than none, victims can be close relatives if designated by the courts in the event the
victim is either deceased or debilitated. There was a time way back in the AD 400 era, which was known
as the Golden Age of the victim when the legal and law enforcement system was not even heard of.
Families would take matters into their own hands by retaliating against anyone who victimized a family
member or friend. Once they found the perpetrator who committed the act, the family would punish them
in a way that society accepted doing that time period. This was the way victimization would be handled
from AD 400 up until 1960s, a period that is better known in history as being the Kings Peace any
wrong that was done against another individual was looked at as a crime against society. This caused
society to forget about individual rights and only think about the society and states well-being, luckily
things would change with law enforcement agencies and a judicial system being developed. The
development of these key acquisitions meant victims were no longer allowed to take matters into their
own hands and the time of vigilantism abruptly ended. According to Schafer 1977 Current trends in the
study of the criminal-victim relationship indicate that there is a new awareness of the victim's role and
responsibility in the crime. This text first offers a history of the victim of crime which the 'golden age' of
the victim is discussed. This period encompasses the time when the victim held the dominant role in the
criminal-victim relationship, and was compensated for his losses. There is also a discussion of the decline
and revival of recognition of the victim's role in the relationship. All considerations are supported by case
studies of the victim. Compensation and restitution to victims are treated in a discussion of the prospects
of compensation of victim's needs. Finally, the author treats the problem of responsibility; that is, the
functional responsibility of and for the victim. (para. 3-4) The victims role in the sentencing process is
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most centered around the idea of keeping with the plan of objective of restitution, which places said
victim and what he or she has suffered at the sole center of the sentencing process. The victims also
reflect the common sense idea that it is the victim who has suffered, and their views should be the only
thing that matters. However, in recent years there has been a slight increase in the overall attention being
paid to the needs of the victim in the criminal sentencing process. The basis of the attention lies on the
primary victims of the crime, where primary victims are described as the ones who are directly affected
by the crime committers actions, and who in the end suffer either physically or emotionally, or just
experience some form of loss or damage to them or their possessions. The prosecutor of the case against
the criminal is to bring to light to the jury that the offender is not a model citizen, nor is he or she not
guilty as they always claim to be. The prosecutor will ask the right set of questions to the accused to show
that there was means and opportunity to commit a crime against the victim, their secondary role is to get
the jury to despise the offender, so when it comes time to deliver a verdict they make the right choice
based on the evidence and testimony that was provided to them from the offender. The defense attorney is
just that, DEFENSE their job is to (by sometimes any means necessary) defend the accused regardless if
they are racist, they truly are guilty, or you just dont like them. Their primary role is to show the jury it
could not have been their client, that the victim got the identity wrong, or has a personal grudge against
the accused. Last but not least is the criminal, the accused, the one on the stand accused of committing a
crime against the victim? The criminals role is sometimes tricky, they often sit in court dressed up, clean
shaven, hair done, to look like a fine upstanding citizen. On the other hand sometimes they sit in court in
handcuffs, and leg restraints in a set of stripes or bright orange jumpsuits. Currently victims have a series
of basic right divided into 10 different categories:
1. Right to be treated with dignity and respect.
2. Right to notification.
3. Right to be present.
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4. Right to be heard.
5. Right to reasonable protection from intimidation and harm.
6. Right to restitution.
7. Right to information and referral.
8. Right to apply for compensation (for violent crime victims).
9. Right to speedy proceedings.
10. Special rights and protections
I believe that there is little to do to these basic rights that do not already cover the whole spectrum of the
bill of victims rights. The right to be reasonably protected from the accused; The right to reasonable,
accurate, and timely notice of any public court proceeding, or any parole proceeding, involving the crime
or of any release or escape of the accused; The right not to be excluded from any public court proceeding,
unless the court, after receiving clear and convincing evidence, determines that testimony by the victim
would be materially altered if the victim heard other testimony at that proceeding; The right to be
reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district court involving release, plea, sentencing, or any
parole proceeding; The reasonable right to confer with the attorney for the Government in the case; The
right to full and timely restitution as provided in law; The right to proceedings free from unreasonable
delay; and (8) The right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victims dignity and privacy.
Cassell 2011 These define their rights on all their glory, the most we could do for the victims is to always
show our support for them, by being active in bill changes that would jeopardize what they already have,
and never take the side of the accused once found guilty of said crime.


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References
Schafer, S. (1977). Victimology-The Victim and His Criminal. Retrieved from
https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=40241
Cassell, P.G. (2011). THE CRIME VICTIMS EXPANDING ROLE IN A SYSTEM OF
PUBLIC PROSECUTION: A RESPONSE TO THE CRITICS OF THE CRIME VICTIMS RIGHTS
ACT. Retrieved from
http://www.law.northwestern.edu/lawreview/colloquy/2011/1/LRColl2011n1Cassell&Joffee.pdf