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Defendants and Victims

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					Defendants and Victims

      Chapter Nine



                         1
  Characteristics of Defendants
• Male
  – Fewer than 7% of prisoners are female.
• Mostly Underclass
• Racial Minorities
  – One in three young black males is in trouble
    with the law.



                                                   2
    Characteristics of Suspects
• Male
• Young
• Poor
• Illiterate
• Minority
• Come from broken
  homes
• Unemployed
• Single
                                  3
                       Victims
• Courts largely have ignored the interests of
  victims (and witnesses).
• Victims suffer hardships:
   – Trial delays
   – Long waits in uncomfortable surroundings
   – Lost wages for time spent going to court
   – Fear of retaliation from the defendant or his
     associates.
   – Sense that criminal justice personnel are indifferent to
     their plight.

                                                                4
    Issue of Prior Relationships
• Relationship between victim and offender can
  affect direction of the process.
• About ½ of violent crimes are committed by
  someone who is a relative, friend or
  acquaintance.
• Men are more likely than women to experience
  violent victimization.
• However, women are about six times more likely
  to experience violence committed by an intimate.

                                                     5
    Victim Witness Assistance
           Programs
• Encourage cooperation in the conviction of
  criminals by reducing the inconvenience citizens
  face when appearing in court.
• Aid in clarifying court process
• Deter intimidation by defendant
• Give Victim or Witness an advocate
• Administer victim indemnification process (to
  help recoup losses, or medical, psychological
  counseling, etc.)
• Manage Restitution orders
                                                     6
Victim Compensation Programs
• 1984 Victims of Crime Act.
  – Established a Crime Victims fund
    administered by the Office for Victims of
    Crimes.
  – Financed primarily from fines paid by
    defendants in federal court.
• Many states have followed suit.


                                                7
        Victim’s Bill of Rights
• 1982 President’s Task Force on Victims of
  Crime.
   – Submitted 68 separate recommendations aimed at
     achieving a balance between the needs and rights of
     the victim and those of the defendant.
• 1982 California voters approved Proposition 8
  which is known as the Victim’s Bill of Rights.
   – Added 12 provisions to the state constitution and the
     criminal code.
• National Conference of the Judiciary on the
  Rights of Victims of Crime, adopted a Statement
  of Recommended Judicial Practices.                         8
The Victim’s Rights Movement
• Involves people striking back to turn
  tragedy into action and rage into reform.
• Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
• Loose coalition of local, state, and national
  organizations with wide-ranging interests.



                                                  9
         Payne v. Tennessee
• The Eighth Amendment does not prohibit
  the sentencing jury in a capital case from
  considering the victim impact statements
  relating to the victim’s personal
  characteristics and the emotional impact of
  the murder on the victim’s family.



                                                10

				
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