Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Position Paper for Criminal Justice Class The subject of victim participation in criminal procedures at the courts has been an issue on the rise in the recent past. Though not fully accepted, it is being used in many courts around the world today…
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It has been hailed for giving the victims of human rights violations, and law a voice from which they could be heard. Input placed in these procedures could have very many beneficial results to all the victims. The offender may, however, have to carry the consequences of their actions. This is since the jury if present, tend to side with the victim in such cases. There are some predicted effects that are associated with victim participation in criminal cases. The trauma that comes with having to face the offender during the case hearing is one predicted effect that the court system believes might happen. It may take some time for the system to fully accept victim participation in these procedures. Details and procedures about how all this goes on in the court are yet to be settled fully. However, it is a known fact that victim participation in criminal procedures can influence the punishment and ruling of these cases. This paper will review how victims can influence the sentencing, and punishment of criminals. As much as human rights activists are pushing for the involvement of victims in court proceedings, there are a few worries that come with such changes. These worries come in the form of free and fair court proceedings (Schabas 79). Many believe that the presence of victims in cases might not create the right atmosphere for the judgement of cases in a free and fair manner. Take, for example, a case where the offender is black while the victim is white. It all goes back to the race factor. Here, the white person will be favoured on account of the black offender. To ensure that everyone gets a free and fair trial, those advocating for the non-participation of victims in cases do have their beliefs on the matter. Their concerns are as to whether the victim’s involvement is in the interest of the justice system, or their own interests. They do make valid points that need to be heard. However, the involvement of victims in the court proceedings should be accepted globally. Since they are the ones that understand what it is they might be going through, they need a say in the matter. Having them perform this task could give them closure on a matter that might have been disturbing them. After being victimised, victims always live with the fear of having the experience re-occur. It is, therefore, the duty of the judicial system to give them a way to relay how the perpetrator shall be handled, or treated (Hall 65). As times continue to change, the judicial system should be able to change with it. Having court proceedings hidden away from the public eye should be a thing of the past. Everyone should be involved in the running of cases. This is for there to be transparency in everything that is being done. Some of the reasons why this should be so are given below. Compensation Determination The compensation of victims is an issue that has been a problem over the years. Many people believe that harm that a victim is exposed to by an offender should be paid for in full. This is by the offender and the organizations that are involved. The compensation of these victims is in terms of medical, financial, and at times, mental health (Freckelton 48). However, this compensation does not cover property damage carried out by the offender. Controversy surrounds this rule as it is hard to understand if an offender damages a person’s property; the victim is not liable for compensation. Having victims participate in cases that involve offenders. Restitution and compensation should be in
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“Position Paper for Criminal Justice Class Research”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/sociology/1447838-position-paper-for-criminal-justice-class.
The type and extent to which the victims suffer injury is one of the considerations, for the sake of the definition. The degree and nature of the victims connection to the acts of the offender is yet another consideration (Andrew, 15). In law also, the definition of a victim also depends on whether the victim was at fault at the time the offense leading to his injury occurred.
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