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Victim's Rights Essay

960 words - 4 pages

The 2004 Crime Victims’ Rights Act (CRVA) the has been marginally successful according to (Boland & Butler, 2009). We now see more victims being able to voice their case as a means of providing the court with the way these crimes have affected them and their families. Meaning that this act has provided victims with more rights, more treatment and services to address the violations or conditions suffered because of criminal acts, the voice of the victim is still somewhat suppressed and even excluded (2009). Often times the voice of the victim is excluded to protect the rights of the defendant. Some may argue that victims can now claim more restitution, damages or even inform sentencing ...view middle of the document...

Because of this one could argue that this automatically tips the trial in favor of the defendant. Moreover, the nature of statements allowed also tip the trial in favor of the defendant (2009). Therefore, one must wonder whether compensatory damages, services offered to help victims overcome the trauma suffered, etc. truly offer victims more protections and empowerment or simply remind the victims that they are indeed victims (Sargent, 2007).
When one considers the laws that have protected the priests, for example, from public defamation or public knowledge of their engagement in criminal acts, one can understand how and why victims of such abuses seek justice. (Sargent, 2009; Trueblood, 2011). While Johnson (Trueblood, 2011) argues that the criminal justice system needs to move toward making its victims feel whole again, the CVRA in many respects tries to accomplish this. Yet, many victims can still remain voiceless within the criminal justice system Boland & Butler, 2009). Most certainly, the cases of sexual abuse and molestation for which the Spokane Diocese paid settlements attempted to compensate victims, but failure to protect others from such abuses additionally traumatized them (Sargent, 2007). I also do not think any compensation really makes a victim whole. Once a crime has been a committed and it violates that individual in any way there really isn't anything that can restore that person to the way they were before the crime was committed. No matter the type of services or monetary compensation the victim still remains robbed of that time and will continue to have to live with those memories. It can be very traumatizing.
An example of this the case of William Lynch who took matters into his own his hands when confronting the priest who molested when he was seven. Those years of anger and resentment built up to the point where he took it upon himself to seek his own means of justice. Although he did not do it lawfully,...

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