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The Victim's Right's Amendments

John Walsh spoke in Rockford Illinois, March 7th, 2000 @ Clock Tower Convention Center [sponsored by Swedish American Hospital's Kids Care Conference.] He spoke passionately and finished by expressing his concern for America's need to adopt a "Victim's Rights Amendments." ComPortOne agrees and has listed the proposed amendments below. They are taken from his book "Tears of Rage - From Grieving Father to Crusader for Justice: The Untold Story of the Adam Walsh Case."

The Victim's Right's Amendments consists of 4 main ideas:

  1. All victims should be treated with the same dignity and given the same information as the accused criminal.
  2. Notification of victims when rapists or abusers are let out of jail or prison.
  3. No one can profit from their crime. Money should go to victims and their families.
  4. Nationwide - victims will be allowed to make victim impact statements before final sentencing.

Crime Victims' Rights Constitutional Amendment

Senate Joint Resolution 6 Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to protect the rights of crime victims.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress Assembles [two-thirds of each House concurring therein.] That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid for all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission by the Congress:

Section 1. Each victim of a crime of violence, and other crimes that Congress may define by law, shall have the rights to notice of, and not to be excluded from, all public proceedings relating to the crime;

To be heard, if present, and to submit a written statement at a public pre-trial or trial proceeding to determine a release from custody, an acceptance of a negotiated pleas, or a sentence;

To the rights described in the preceding portions of this section at a public parole proceeding, or at a non-public parole proceeding to the extent they are afforded to the convicted offender;

To notice of a release pursuant to a public or parole proceeding or an escape;

To a final disposition of the proceedings relating to the crime free from unreasonable delay;

To an order of restitution from the convicted offender;

To consideration for the safety of the victim in determining any release from custody; And

To notice of the rights established by this article; however, the rights to notice under this section are not violated if the proper authorities make a reasonable effort, but are unable to provide the notice, or if the failure of the victim to make a reasonable effort to make those authorities aware of the victim's whereabouts prevents that notice.

Section 2: The victim shall have standing to assert the rights established by this article. However, nothing in this article shall provide grounds for the victim to challenge a charging decision or a conviction; to obtain a stay of trial; or to compel a new trial. Nothing in this article shall give rise to a claim for damages against the United States, a State, a political subdivision, or a public official, nor provide grounds for the accused or convicted offended to obtain any form of relief.

Section 3: The Congress and the States shall have the power to enforce this article within their respective jurisdictions by appropriate legislation, including the power to enact exceptions when required for compelling reasons of public safety or for judicial efficiency in mass victim cases.

Section 4: The rights established by this article shall apply to all proceedings that begin on or after the 180th day after the ratification of this article.

Section 5: The rights established by this article shall apply in all Federal and States proceedings, including military proceedings to the extent that Congress may provide by law, juvenile justice proceedings, and collateral proceedings such as habeas corpus, and including proceedings in any district or territory of the United States not within a State.

Sample letter to send to represenatives and senators
John Walsh's visit to Rockford, Illinois
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