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Victims And Crime Paper

1608 words - 7 pages

Victims and Crime Evaluation Paper
Criminal Law/CJA/354

An alarming amount of innocent people become victims of crime every year, and the victim’s rights are every bit as important as the offender’s rights. There are certain tendencies that appear within patterns of crime and victimization, such as adolescents are most likely to be victimized, men become crime victims more often than women, and African Americans experience more crime than other racial groups (Newmark, 2008).
Victims of crime suffer from physical, emotional, psychological, and financial issues.
Some of the issues victims of crime face are physical injury, fear for personal safety, medical expenses, counseling ...view middle of the document...

In the past, prosecutors would enter the court, fight for the facts, and hope for a favorable outcome.  However with the emersion of victim’s rights, the prosecutor also has the responsibility of helping the victim(s) prepare a statement to be read in the sentencing phase of the trial. Victims today are more open to confronting his or her offender or attacker and victim statements may bring about stiffer sentences. The prosecutor must also ensure that he or she does everything possible to lessen the harsh effects of the crime through sound prosecutorial practices, as each reopening of a case via an appeal has a psychological effect on the victim(s) by reopening old wounds.
The Defense Attorney
The defense attorney plays a critical role in the criminal justice system and serves many functions throughout the criminal justice process. Some of these functions are as follows:
* Investigates the charges
* Investigates what evidence the prosecution holds
* Interview witnesses
* Advises
* Suggests options, such as plea bargains and filing pre-trial motions concerning evidence
* Gaining dismissals, some or all, of the charges or proceeding to court

The defense attorney represents an individual charged with a crime. The defense attorney is governed by rigid guidelines concerning what he or she can and cannot say in court and must prepare his or her client for possible victim(s) confrontations during the sentencing phase of the trial. Via the laws regarding victim’s rights, the defense attorney must represent effectively the defendant to the best of his or her ability even after hearing the possible damage his or her client may have inflicted. Thus, this can make an already difficult job more difficult.
The Criminal
An offender in the criminal justice system often portrays themselves as showing remorse, especially when it comes time for the sentencing phase of the trial. There are even those who look for the slightest hint of remorse from the offender when the victim(s) statements are read. Remorse is an essential element if there is a possibility for potential rehabilitation in a convicted criminal. With rehabilitation comes change, and change would be the desired outcome. Nevertheless, victim statements are devised to create the single greatest impact on the jury before the sentence is handed down. Victim statements have a tendency to impose harsher sentences, more prison time, and higher monetary penalties. 
The Victim
A victim is defined as, “any individual against whom an offense has been committed” (Schmalleger & Dolatowski, p. 400, 2010), and victimization is defined as, “an act that exploits or victimizes someone (treats them unfairly)” (National Institute of Justice, 1998). Federal and state laws offer rights to victims of crime, such as those that have brought about pain and suffering, physical loss, property loss, domestic violence, elder abuse, physical abuse, sexual assault, robbery, drunk driving...

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