Victims and Crime Evaluation
March 17, 2015
Mr. Dale Jenereaux
Victims and Crime Evaluation
Victims of crimes often suffer from various aspects of the criminal acts that were committed against them.
The criminal justice system can also contribute to victimization against victims. Lipmann (2010) noted, victims also suffer post crime or secondary victimization. This includes but it not limited to loss of wages, medical expenses, property loss, disability and/or the need to relocate due to safety issues and/or inhabitable living quarters after the crime (Lippman, 2010). Over the year’s inauguration of victim’s rights and victim’s assistance, victims can often relive ...view middle of the document...
The prosecution or law enforcement can inform the victim about the progress of the case, further detail the victim’s role in the process and keep them abreast of further developments (Lippman, 2010). While victims are entitled to be in the courtroom during the proceedings, the judge may exclude them during the defendant’s testimony (CrimeVictimLaw.com, 2008). This can help alleviate some victimization and also help keep the peace inside the court room. Emotions can tend to run high inside the court and people under stress can react in a violent manner. Even though victims must comply with valid subpoenas to testify, victims do have the right to decide whether to engage with out-of-court questioning with the defense attorney of defense investigator (CrimeVictimLaw.com, 2008).
Often during investigation tough questions are asked and can have an impact on the case itself or how the victim may feel towards the criminal justice system. In order to assure victim participation within the court proceedings, and testimony, the prosecution can either directly or indirectly arrange for victim protection (Wemmers, 1996). It can do this through cooperation with victim assistance services (VOCA, 2012). The privacy and confidentiality of the victim, his/her home, work, and/or school addresses will be safeguarded by such office. In fact, the Judge can order this information be held privately and shielded from the public (CrimeVictimLaw.com, 2008).
If the defendant is convicted of the crime, then sentencing offers societal retribution (Lippman, 2010). The sentencing phase can help a victim have closure or if they feel that they received the short end of the stick cause them to lose trust within the criminal justice system. The prosecution has the ability to and can make sentencing recommendations to the judge. The defense may try to convince the Judge that there are or was mitigating factors that should be considered. The victims do play a role in this process, especially with violent crime convictions (Wemmers, 1996). Many laws have recommended punishment and the victims may fell that the punishment is not enough. Accordingly, judges consider the written or oral victim impact statements at the sentencing hearing (CrimeVictimLaw.com, 2008). This statement reflects the effects of the crime on the victim and the recommended sentence. Usually the statement may be submitted to the parole board and included in records for future parole hearings if it is seen fit to do so.
Obviously at this point each party has played a major role in the sentencing phase. The judge is the only person who determines whether alternative sanctions such as restitution to the...