Proposed Federal Victims’ Right Amendment

The Federal Victims’ Rights Amendment

An amendment was introduced to the United States Congress that would provide victims’ rights across all Federal and State courts. California passed Marsy’s Law in 2008, adding victims’ rights to the California Constitution, but these rights only extend to California courts. The Federal Victims’ Rights Amendment would extend victims’ rights to Federal courts and all 50 states’ courts. Also, this Amendment defines a victim as any person against whom the criminal offense is committed or who is directly harmed by the commission of a criminal act, which is a much broader definition than California’s Constitution provides. The Constitution Submcommittee held a hearing on Friday, May 1st, 2015 on the proposed consitutional amendment. 

Passing this amendment will provide equal victims’ rights across the United States, and finally add victims’ rights to the many enumerated offenders’ rights in the United States Constitution.

Summary of the Amendment

Prohibits denial or abridgment of crime victims’ rights to fairness, respect and dignity.

Grants the crime victim the right:

  1. to reasonable notice of, and to not be excluded from, public proceedings relating to the offense;
  2. to be heard at any release, plea, sentencing, or other such proceeding involving any right established under this amendment;
  3. to proceedings free from unreasonable delay;
  4. to reasonable notice of the release or escape of the accused;
  5. to due consideration of the crime victim’s safety; and
  6. to restitution.

Grants the crime victim, or the victim’s lawful representative, standing to fully assert and enforce such rights in any court.

See the full text of the proposed amendment here:http://www.nvcap.org/legis/112/VRAtext.html

 

How Can You Help?

Please go to this link to sign a petition in favor of passing this amendment:http://www.nvcap.org/vrapetition/index.php

Also, the best way to get this amendment passed is to contact your congressperson and/or senator and ask them to cosign this amendment. Find your congressperson and/or senator here:http://www.congress.org/congressorg/directory/congdir.tt