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Justice for All Act

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2006
4 pages
Publication Series
This fact sheet presents information about the Scott Campbell, Stephanie Roper, Wendy Preston, Louarna Gillis, and Nila Lynn Crime Victims’ Rights Act, a component of the Justice for All Act of 2004.
The main purposes of the Justice for All Act are to protect the rights of crime victims, eliminate the backlog of DNA samples gathered from crime scenes and convicted offenders, and to improve and expand DNA testing capacity in crime laboratories at the Federal, State, and local levels. This report focuses on that component of the Justice for All Act that specifies crime victims’ rights. The Act adds new victims’ rights and modifies existing rights. Among the new rights incorporated into the law are the right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding involving release, plea, or sentencing and the right to be advised that victims may seek the advice of an attorney regarding any victim rights established by the Act. Provisions of the Act designed to promote compliance are addressed and provisions of the Act that have been implemented are described. The Act also authorizes funding for grants to develop, establish, and maintain programs for the enforcement of crime victims’ rights and for training and technical assistance to State and tribal jurisdictions. A January 2006 case heard in California is reviewed in which the United States Court of Appeals considered whether the Crime Victims’ Rights Act gave victims the right to speak at sentencing hearings. The decision confirmed the rights of victims to speak at sentencing hearings, even if there is more than one criminal sentencing. Limitations of the Act are also discussed and include the failure of the Act to allow crime victims to file a lawsuit against the Federal Government for violation of victims’ rights. Contact information is provided for the Office of Victims of Crime.

Date Published: April 1, 2006