Victim's Rights

Statutory and constitutional rights for victims of violent crime have proliferated in recent years in every state. Course material will revolve around these rights-such as the right to compensation and restitution; the right to present an impact statement; the right to participate in the proceedings as more than merely a witness-and how they reflect victims' role in the criminal justice system. One major theme will be the experience of victims in having their stories edited, redacted, or suppressed in order to achieve "justice." The class will discuss how victims are defined, and the dynamics among victim blame, victim recidivism, victim failure to report, and false allegations. The class will debate the pros and cons of a federal victims' rights amendment, comparing victims' rights with offenders' rights and the respective consequences of failing to uphold these rights. A second major theme will be the role of the community when criminal acts occur. To this end, the class will examine various models of restorative justice, many of which attempt to create "victim centered" justice programs. The class will consider the role of the victim, the offender, and the community in seeking resolution and repair.
Credits: 2

Type: SEM