Sample Criminal Justice Paper on Victims’ Rights

Victims’ Rights

The Crime Victims’ Rights Act of 2004 provides victims with a right to information on all terms of the plea-bargaining agreement. The victim ought to receive all information on the terms of the plea-bargaining arrangement. Having received the information, the victim has a right to participate fully in the proceedings of the court. During the plea-bargain hearings, the victim has the right to professional assistance from a government attorney in understanding the implications of the plea bargain. Having understood the implications, the victim has authority from the law to offer a personal opinion about the plea bargaining agreement (Majoras & Enson, 2010). Throughout the hearing, the court should treat the victim fairly and respectfully. Some of the issues that the victim may raise in the hearing include an opinion about the plea agreement and proposals or additional conditions to include in the plea agreement (Majoras & Enson, 2010).

In the case, the offender had attacked the victim with a baseball bat, causing aggravated injuries. With the offender on probation, it is likely that the offender could attack the victim again. The court has an obligation to protect the victim from the offender. Despite the law’s provision for the victim to present a personal opinion about the plea bargain, it does not offer him or her the right to veto a plea agreement between the prosecution and the offender (OVA, 2016). This means that the offender’s merit of the plea agreement or probation is dependent on the evaluations of the prosecution and the judge. Nevertheless, the law provides some ways to ensure protection for the victim from the offender in case of probation. The victim could request a no contact or restriction order from the court to keep the offender away from him or her. A civil recourse for the victim could be requesting for commitment of the offender to community service hours or enrollment in a rehabilitative program (OVA, 2016).

References

Majoras, J. & Enson, E. (2010). The Crime Victims’ Rights Act: Its Impact on Plea Negotiations with the Antitrust Division. The Antitrust Source. Retrieved from: http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/publishing/antitrust_source/Dec10_Majoras12_21f.authcheckdam.pdf

State of Connecticut Office of the Victim Advocate (OVA) (2016). A Guide for Victims of Crime: what you need to know. OVA Publication. Retrieved from: https://www.cga.ct.gov/cop/docs/2016/CrimeVictimsGuide.pdf