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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 66321 Find in a Library
Title: VICTIMS OF CRIME DESERVE MORE THAN PITY
Journal: HUMAN RIGHTS  Volume:8  Dated:(SPRING 1979)  Pages:10-15,46
Author(s): F G CARRINGTON; E E YOUNGER
Corporate Author: Southern Methodist University
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: Southern Methodist University
Dallas, TX 75221
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: DUE TO DECISIONS OF THE WARREN COURT, NEW RECOGNITION IS BEING GIVEN CRIME VICTIMS. YET MOST LEGISLATION ON VICTIM COMPENSATION IS MERELY TOKEN AND THERE HAS BEEN NO TENDENCY TO REDUCE VICTIMIZATION.
Abstract: THERE IS SUBSTANTIAL SPLIT IN PROSECUTORIAL AND JUDICIAL FEELING ON THE ROLE OF THE VICTIM. PROSECUTORS SEEMS WARY OF ALLOWING THE VICTIM TO HAVE ANY DIRECT PARTICIPATION IN THE TRIAL PROCESS, PREFERRING THE MORE COMFORTABLE VICTIM-AS-EVIDENCE POSTURE. HOWEVER, THEY HAVE NOT FORMALLY OPPOSED SUGGESTIONS FOR PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS THAT WOULD MAKE IT A DUTY TO KEEP THE VICTIM INFORMED OF THE CASE'S PROGRESS. MEANWHILE, VICTIMS AND WITNESSES ARE CONFRONTED WITH POOR PHYSICAL SURROUNDINGS IN COURTHOUSES COUPLED WITH ABSENCE OF SERVICES. THEY FIND IT IMPOSSIBLE TO OBTAIN INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROGRESS OF A CASE IN THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM. FURTHERMORE, CERTAIN VICTIMS FIND LITTLE ASSISTANCE IN GETTING THEIR CASE TO A COURT. ALTHOUGH THE VOLUME OF DOMESTIC ASSAULTS IS VERY HIGH, SOCIETY IS AMBIVALENT IN DEALING WITH THEM. THE NUMBER OF NONFATAL ASSAULTS BY HUSBANDS AGAINST WIVES WHICH ARE FORMALLY PROSECUTED IS STILL INSIGNIFICANT COMPARED TO THE REPORTED INCIDENTS, AND MUCH IS OWED TO THE WOMEN'S MOVEMENT FOR FORCING THIS ISSUE UPON A MALE-CONTROLLED JUSTICE SYSTEM. INTIMIDATION OF WITNESS CASES ARE RARELY PROSECUTED, YET MORE THAN A QUARTER OF WITNESS COMPLAINTS RELATE TO FEAR OF REPRISALS. THE LAWS ON INTIMIDATION ARE WEAK, CONFUSED, AND ILLOGICAL. SEVEN STATES APPEAR TO HAVE NO WITNESS INTIMIDATION STATUTES AT ALL. STILL ONE MAJOR STEP HAS BEEN TAKEN TOWARDS PREVENTING VICTIMIZATION. THE RELEASE OF VIOLENT CRIMINALS WHO CAN VICTIMIZE AGAIN HAS BEEN ABATED BY DETERMINANT-SENTENCING LAWS. ALTHOUGH VICTIMS HAVE FOUND A VOICE IN VICTIM COMMITTEES AND LOBBIES, JUDGES, PROSECUTORS AND THE POLICE, AS WELL AS PRIVATE GROUPS, MUST NOW CHANGE THEIR PRACTICES TO DEAL HUMANELY AND JUSTLY WITH THESE VICTIMS OF CRIME. (MJW)
Index Term(s): Criminal Justice System Response to Victims; Victim reactions to the Criminal Justice System; Victim services; Victim-witness intimidation; Victim-witness legislation; Victimization; Witness protection
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66321

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