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NCJ Number: 92860 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Corrections Law Developments - Restitution Under the Victim and Witness Protection Act of 1982
Journal: Criminal Law Bulletin  Volume:20  Issue:1  Dated:(January-February 1984)  Pages:44-48
Author(s): F S Merritt
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Although the Victim and Witness Protection Act of 1982 has some areas of imprecise language and is limited to Title 18 offenses, it is a substantial step toward a more national disposition policy and may lessen the burden on individuals injured by crimes.
Abstract: The Act permits imposing restitution as an additional sanction to any other authorized disposition, whereas previously it could only be imposed as a condition of probation. Under the Act, the court must have a victim impact statement prepared containing data on the economic, social, psychological, and physical harm done to the victim as part of the presentence investigation. The Act only applies to offenses under Title 18 of the U.S. Code and certain provisions of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, thus encompassing most Federal offenses such as kidnapping and bank robbery but eliminating most economic crimes. When the court fails to order full restitution, it is required to state its reasons on the record. The Act also establishes procedures for determining the amount of restitution. Restitution may not be ordered when the victim already has received compensation, but persons compensating the victim may receive restitution. A principal problem is that neither the Act nor Title 18 defines 'victim.' Instead, the Act speaks of the 'victim of the offense' of which the defendant was convicted. Victims cannot veto plea bargains, and it is questionable whether incarcerated offenders or parolees can earn sufficient money to make restitution payments. Case law makes it clear that the court is permitted to take the individual's assets, earning ability, and other obligations into consideration when making a restitution order. A problem area that has not yet been resolved is in the few instances where the defendant operates a business and has substantial assets invested in that business. The article has 31 footnotes.
Index Term(s): Federal courts; Restitution; Victim compensation; Victim Witness Protection Act 1982
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