Showing posts from February, 2013

Offender Rights vs. Victims Rights

Anyone who has had contact with the criminal justice system knows that offenders have many rights during the process.  They can determine the direction, speed and duration of interaction with the system more than the victim who suffered through the crime.  This, of course, was intended to protect wrongly accused people and to ensure that each person accused of a crime receives fair treatment.  However, this often contributes to victims feeling silenced or censored during the process.  Victims' rights groups have advocated for victims and their families to be able to participate in the justice system, and we have certainly come a long way.  However, as more decisions are being challenged, we have to ask--when is an offender's right to presumption of innocence more important than a victim and community's right to justice? A case is currently in front of the Supreme Court to determine whether it is constitutional to use an offender's DNA collected due to one crime to prose…