CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cassell & Mitchell on Applying the Crime Victims' Right Act Before Charges

Paul G. Cassell and Nathanael J. Mitchell (University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law and University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law) have posted Crime Victims’ Rights During Criminal Investigations? Applying the Crime Victims’ Rights Act Before Criminal Charges Are Filed (Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

In recent years, federal and state enactments have given crime victims extensive rights to participate in criminal cases. Many of these rights apply only after the filing of criminal charges, such as the victim’s right to be heard during court proceedings. A crime victim's right to deliver an impact statement at sentencing, for instance, can only be exercised after the prosecutor has filed charges against a defendant and obtained a conviction. Other rights, however, could apply even before the formal filing of charges. As one example, the federal Crime Victim’s Rights Act (CVRA) extends to crime victims the right to “confer” with prosecutors. Can victims exercise this right even before charges have been filed?

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