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Showing 5 posts filed under: Region: North America and Caribbean [–], Country:USA [–], Victim [–], System [–] [Show all]

When victims speak up in court—in defense of the criminals

from the article by Andrew Cohen in The Atlantic:

One of the most profound changes in criminal justice over the past 40 years has been the rise of the victims' lobby. Essentially shut out of the core of the process until the 1970s, the victims' rights movement today can cite legislation from sea to sea, chapter and verse under both federal and state laws, that broadens the rights of victims to participate in the trials of those accused of harming them or their families. The Department of Justice's 2012 "Attorney General Guidelines for Victim and Witness Assistance," for example, totals 66 pages and barely scratches the surface of what similar state guidelines reveal.

Jan 30, 2014 , , ,

For restorative justice, the devil is in the details

from the column by J. Douglas Allen-Taylor in Oakland Local:

....The ordinance makes provision for existing agencies or non-profits to run the restorative justice component on a case-by-case referral basis, with instructions that the contracted program “may seek to involve the victim as well as the offender” in the restorative justice process. In addition the contracted program both makes the decision as to what will it take to bring restoration as well as to ultimately sign off on whether or not restoration was done.

Since that is one of the basic tenets or restorative justice—to bring victim and offender together to restore the whole—it would seem that the programs would almost always bring in the victims, as well as let the victims take the lead in deciding the restorative action. 

Apr 26, 2013 , , , ,

Review: The Final Gift: A documentary film

The Final Gift: A Documentary Film was produced by Therese and Doug Bartholomew and is distributed through 1936 Productions and SansPerf Productions. Running time is 1 hour and 15 minutes. The DVD is available for purchase online

Reviewed by Lynette Parker

The Final Gift-- A Documentary Film offers an intimate look into one woman’s journey of healing following the violent death of her brother. Therese Bartholemew’s brother, Steve, died after being shot in an altercation at a club. This film results from her attempt to understand what happened and its impact on their family. It chronicles their emotions and responses from receiving the first phone call to the sentencing to Therese’s meeting with the offender. 

Nov 13, 2012 , , , , , , , , ,

What role should crime victims play in plea bargains?

from Scott Hensen's entry at Grits for Breakfast:

Prosecutors represent the state, not crime victims, and they're charged with seeking justice, not convictions. But the Houston Press published a feature questioning whether prosecutors should be required to notify crime victims or get their sign-off before entering into a plea deal. The Harris County DA's Office says "There is no obligation to give advance notice to all victims of plea bargains," a policy which has the Mayor's crime victim advocate Andy Kahan hopping mad.

Mar 03, 2010 , , ,

Giving crime victims the right to meet with their offenders: Virginia legislative developments

by Lisa Rea

Should a crime victim have a right to meet his/her offender?  It is very good to see that the Virginia State Legislature is considering the benefits that come with victim offender dialogue and restorative justice programming in general. 

According to Associated Press reporter Dena Potter's article in the Washington Examiner the proposed legislation is HB 913, authored by Delegate Robert B. Bell in the Virginia Legislature.

Feb 22, 2010 , , , , ,

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