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Crime Victim Legislation in Minnesota: An Overview

NCJ Number
E Shapiro
Date Published
23 pages
This information brief summarizes the major features of Minnesota laws designed to protect the rights and interests of crime victims.
The provisions of Minnesota's victims' rights legislation are presented under six categories. The first category, financial assistance for victims, addresses reparations, restitution, and "Son of Sam" Law; the latter legislation prohibits persons who have been convicted of a felony or found not guilty of a felony by reason of insanity from profiting by exploiting the crime in the media or through the entertainment industry. A second category of laws focuses on protecting victims from harm or harassment. They pertain to tampering with a witness, the privacy of a victim's or witness' name or address, a separate waiting area in the courthouse for victims/witnesses waiting to testify, employer retaliation, harassment crimes, a harassment restraining order, and professional training on harassment crimes. A third category, victim notification provisions, relates to a notice of victims' rights, higher-education-institution sexual harassment and violence policy, notice of the right to keep a victim's identity confidential, and notice of the decision not to prosecute domestic assault or harassment. Other legislative provisions that pertain to victim notification address a notice of plea bargain agreements, notice of change in court schedule, notice of rights at sentencing, notice of final case disposition, notice of offender release from confinement, notice of right to request notice of release, notice of escape, notice concerning sexually transmitted diseases, notice concerning HIV testing of a convicted offender, and notice to victims of motor vehicle theft. Other general categories of victim legislation described are victim participation in the criminal justice system, victim/witness assistance programs, and victims of bias crimes. A historical summary of victims rights legislation from 1974 through 1994 is also included.