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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99057 Find in a Library
Title: Victim's Role in the Penal Process - Recent Developments in California
Journal: Federal Probation  Volume:49  Issue:1  Dated:(March 1985)  Pages:50-57
Author(s): D R Ranish; D Shichor
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 8
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
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the nature and impact of a California voter initiative that mandates victims' rights to attend sentencing and parole hearings to provide input for the decisions.
Abstract: In June 1982, California voters approved an initiative known as Proposition 8, the so-called Victims' Bill of Rights. This article focuses on two interrelated provisions of the initiative which mandate victim participation in the sentencing and parole hearings of offenders. At the sentencing hearing, the victim or the next of kin is entitled to present views about the crime, the defendant, and any need for restitution. The victim's statement becomes part of the case record. At the parole hearing, the victim also has the right to express views regarding the crime and the offender. In the first year since the enactment of these rights, relatively few victims have appeared at sentencing and parole hearings, such that Proposition 8 has had little impact on sentencing and parole decisions. From a political perspective, however, Proposition 8 has had a significant impact in demonstrating the political power of those who support a conservative crime control model. This could be the beginning of a comprehensive effort to restructure California's criminal procedure according to the conservative model. Such an effort, posing significant threats to constitutional due process rights of the accused, may have to be checked by judicial review. Twenty-seven references are listed.
Index Term(s): California; Probation or parole decisionmaking; Sentencing recommendations; Victims rights
Note: Previous version presented at the 35th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology, November 9-13, 1983, Denver, Colorado.
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