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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98436 Find in a Library
Title: Good, the Bad, and the Burger Court - Victims' Rights and a New Model of Criminal Review
Journal: Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology  Volume:75  Issue:2  Dated:(summer 1984)  Pages:363-387
Author(s): T P O'Neil
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 25
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The position of the Burger Court during its 1982 term regarding the protection of defendants who were in positions in which the 'good citizens' of the law-abiding middle class might conceivably find themselves is explored, as are its rulings against prisoners, indigents, the insane, and other members of the 'criminal class.'
Abstract: The first part of the article analyzes the Court's new interest in protecting 'good citizens' by first examining the traditional model, in which the Supreme Court viewed a criminal case as a conflict solely between the government and the citizen/defendant. The second part discusses the rise of 'victims' rights' organizations, which have challenged the old premise that third parties have no 'standing' in a criminal case. This attitude determines the new model for analyzing criminal cases and questions whether expanding the rights of a citizen/defendant in a particular case should always be viewed as a victory for citizens as a whole against government. It is suggested that to the contrary, according to the new model, such a decision often rebounds to the benefit of 'bad citizens' and works to the detriment of 'good citizens.' The conclusion examines how this interest in the rights of 'good citizens' had affected not only the kinds of criminal cases the Court is accepting for review, but the actual disposition of the cases as well. One hundred and twenty reference notes are provided.
Index Term(s): Interview and interrogation; Victim-witness intimidation; Victims rights
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