The Victims' Rights Amendment: A Sympathetic, Clause-by-Clause Analysis
47 Pages Posted: 26 Nov 2012
Date Written: November 26, 2012
My goal in this article is to provide a clause-by-clause analysis of the current version of the Victims’ Rights Amendment, explaining how it would operate in practice. In doing so, it is possible to draw upon an ever-expanding body of case law from the federal and state courts interpreting state victims’ enactments. The fact that these enactments have been put in place without significant interpretational issues in the criminal justice systems to which they apply suggests that a federal amendment could likewise be smoothly implemented.
Part II of this article briefly reviews the path leading up to the current version of the Victims’ Rights Amendment. Part III then reviews the version clause-by-clause, explaining how the provisions would operate in light of interpretations of similar language in the federal and state provisions. Part IV draws some brief conclusions about the project of enacting a federal constitutional amendment protecting crime victims’ rights.
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