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Crime Victims' Rights: A Legislative Perspective

NCJ Number
Pepperdine Law Review Volume: 17 Issue: 1 Dated: (1989) Pages: 59-127
W Van Regenmorter
Date Published
69 pages
This article provides a detailed explanation of the legislative process and content of Michigan's 1985 Crime Victim's Rights Act.
The act first defines a felony crime victim and then defines the responsibilities of the prosecutor's office and the police in implementing victims' rights. Police must inform victims of their rights and promptly return the victim's property. The prosecutor is required to give the victim clear written notice of the procedural steps in criminal case processing, victims' rights under the act, eligibility requirements for compensation, procedures for handling defendant intimidation of victims, and the name of the person to contact for additional information. Separate articles of the act provide for the rights of the victims of juvenile crime and victims of misdemeanors. Under the act, counties are reimbursed for the costs of implementing the legislation. Sheriffs and prosecutors have generally implemented the act's mandates, but on occasion victims have complained that prosecutors have not respected their rights and that police have not informed victims of their rights under the act. In 1988 an amendment to the State constitution gave permanence to victims' rights, providing a means of enforcement and mandating that offenders help pay for the costs of victims' rights. Appended legislation and a list of victim contacts for Michigan. 91 footnotes