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Hi, need to submit a 750 words essay on the topic Victims Rights Amendment: Is It Really Necessary.Download file "Victims Rights Amendment: Is It Really Necessary" to see previous pages... Every day,
Hi, need to submit a 750 words essay on the topic Victims Rights Amendment: Is It Really Necessary.Download file "Victims Rights Amendment: Is It Really Necessary" to see previous pages...
Every day, Americans are bombarded by images of the impact of crime. Through the media, we see criminal activity increasing in our society and are confronted with the people those acts leave behind. Some people believe that victims are not fairly represented in our current legal system and that they need the power of constitutional protection to secure their rights.
Others contend that there is sufficient recourse already in place for the sufferers, and fear that a constitutional amendment would actually inflict harm upon the criminal justice process. Regardless of which side of the debate is adopted, there is no doubt that all parties would agree that "[t]he best we can do for victims is to decrease their numbers." (Kopel and Semel, 1996, p. 3) In reviewing the arguments posited by both sides, I conclude it is best that we find a way to protect victims of crime without resorting to a constitutional amendment.
Even a casual observer can see that there are an excessive number of violent crimes committed in this country. The case for providing the people hurt by these unlawful acts with constitutional protection is strong. The argument centers upon the idea that victims of violent crime have no constitutional rights in the criminal justice process. In spite of the protections generally afforded all citizens, they argue, victims of violent crime do not have the right to demand specific remedies such as special notice of trial-related procedures, an opportunity to speak at those procedures, notice of parole and other releases, or protection against unreasonable delays in the prosecution. (S.J. Res. 1, 2004) This insufficiency, they argue, results in a disenfranchisement of victims whereby they are denied reasonable input into the process and a practical consideration of their welfare. With a constitutional amendment in hand, Congress could "enact implementing statutes" guaranteeing adequate representation for victims. (Kopel, p. 2)
The other side of this debate, in acknowledging the need for victims to have access to-and a voice in-the criminal justice process, considers the appropriate response to be at a systematic level beneath that of a constitutional amendment. While it might be a good political move which demonstrates appropriate compassion for victims, they argue, "...in practice, constitutional amendments are blunt instruments [that] cannot provide the...precision that [is] so often necessary for effective criminal justice." (Kopel, p. 1) One particularly valid objection stems from the difficulty in precisely defining what a victim is. In the instance of a murder, for example, the dead person is the primary victim. There follows, then, the question of who else can claim victim status.