My view is that American Victims’ rights have greatly improved. These rights include indemnity for any loss suffered; right to speak out their mind, along with attending court proceedings. Currently, victims’ rights are being implemented to offer support to convict the defendant. For instance, the United States Supreme Court reversed a ruling made in a capital case where it was deemed wrong in the public sense of justice.
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The enactment of crime victims’ rights Act has helped protect their rights and bring justice in many cases. The allowance of victims’ impact statement in the form of video in court proceedings is real evidence for the determination to promote rights. Thus, the current victims’ rights in the United States have considerably been enhanced to protect victims from prejudice. This was heightened by the establishment of victims’ fund meant to offer support in the form of reimbursement.
This establishes that victims’ rights exist. These rights seek fairness and just court process to focus on personal, economic status as well as emotional views. The laws include information rights, court process attendance, solitude right, right to prompt notice, along with protection from further potential attacks. Other rights include right to be heard, right to discuss legal matters with the attorney, prompt case proceedings, right to fair treatment and timely compensation.
I feel that the 2004 Crime Victims’ Rights Act is yet to achieve its intended results. The accomplishments of the victims’ rights have long been away from being successful due to obstacles in courtrooms. This was evident in a case where a victim’s right of compensation was overlooked, only to be overturned by the Maryland Court of Appeal. In another case, a defendant accused of the battery was able to seek sentence reduction without the knowledge of the victim.
This showed a violation of the victim’s right to follow the proceedings and sentencing of their offenders. Also, the Court of Appeal ruled that the victim was not entitled to compensation right, which was a statutory right. The victims’ right of going to trials was violated in the case of Timothy McVeigh, where victims were blocked on the ground of impact statements of which they were entitled to.
In another case, victims were denied the right to speak during the sentencing proceeding against a son accused of committing fraud. The Bar Association and judges need to understand victims’ rights in a bid to boost the fairness of the court system.
Vengeance is never the best solution; thus, I believe it would not be appropriate, even if it means flouting the rule of law. Law and legal actions should be allowed to take their course in punishing the wrongdoers. The action of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) to spread protective information door to door is not right.
This is because although there were complaints raised against the victims, there was no evidence to convict them of the crimes of which they were accused. This is not fair to the victims as some cannot withstand mental trauma and opt to leave their current residential premises, and in the end, cut short the rule of law.