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GWU / Sociology / SOC 2189 / What is the purpose of a victims rights amendment?

What is the purpose of a victims rights amendment?

What is the purpose of a victims rights amendment?

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School: George Washington University
Department: Sociology
Course: Victimology
Professor: Ellen sfecla
Term: Spring 2018
Tags:
Cost: 50
Name: SOC 2189, Study Guide Exam 2
Description: Most of this study guide is filled out
Uploaded: 04/04/2018
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VICTIMOLOGY EXAM 2 STUDY GUIDE 


What is the purpose of a victims rights amendment?



Chapter 6 

● Purpose of a Victims Rights Amendment 

○ To protect victims since state constitutions already protected criminals ○ Guarantees their rights when they participate in the criminal justice system (preventing double criminalization) 

● Legislative Routes for Victims’ Rights 

○ Federal Constitutional Reform 

■ Victim Right Amendment 

■ President’s Task Force on Victims of Crime 

● Ratifications to the 6th amendment 

■ Want to restore victim’s legal standing and guarantee some justice ■ Advocates through the National Organization of Victim Assistance (NOVA) 


What are the legislative routes for victims’ rights?



● Wanted to create a whole new amendment 

● 3 reasons why sponsors were onboard with this (pg, 136) 

○ State Constitutional Reform 

■ NVCAN 

● Informal network for victim advocacy groups to share ideas 

and information 

■ Promote victim rights at the state rather than federal level 

■ Generate more local support as opposed to federal support 

■ Reinforce victim rights statutes 

■ Constructed a victim version of the Miranda Rights to make victims aware of their rights 

● Amendment Ratification 


What is amendment ratification?



If you want to learn more check out What are the immigration issues?

○ The creation of the VRA in states and the federal amendment was never ratified into constitutional law

● Core Victims’ Rights – states and federal (not sure this fits here) ○ Federal, pg. 145 We also discuss several other topics like What is post testing?
Don't forget about the age old question of Who are you more and least likely to be murdered by?
We also discuss several other topics like What is beta-lactam ring?
If you want to learn more check out What is demedicalization?

■ Promoting legislation that addresses victim’s concerns 

■ Making funds available to states only if they incorporate certain specific features in their statutes 

■ Crime Victims Bill of Rights 

● Not a national constitutional provision 

● Just shows how policies and procedures for informing crime 

victims of their rights 

○ State 

■ Active victim compensation programs 

■ Every state has legislation dealing victim’s rights that mirror federal provisions 

● Florida – how did they pass it 

○ Florida victims and witnesses are entitled to a number of rights (examples on page 148-some including information and notification systems) ○ Mirrored federal efforts (how they passed it?; pg 147) 

○ Over 90% of voters passed this 

■ This had a “lock them up” policy so it gained a lot of support 

■ Critics fear that victim rights bills follow these gut reactions and aren’t thought through thoroughly 

● Oklahoma City bombing 

○ Any victim who did not testify but exerted their right to attend the deliberations was not eligible to make a victim impact statement before the court during the sentence If you want to learn more check out A detailed schedule showing the expected sales for the budget period.

○ Judge declared that the law was given, so the Victim’s Clarification Law was created in response 

● Criticisms of Victim rights legislation

○ Increased workload for criminal justice workers, therefore delays and greater costs in the court process 

○ Great participation may cause harm to the victim (victim may relive traumatic event) 

○ Victim not notified of their rights 

○ Goals of the criminal justice system (moving away from rehabilitation and moving towards retribution and restitution) 

● Payne v. TN 

○ Courts no longer required to suppress a victim impact statement in a capital penalty case (nothing in the 8th amendment says otherwise) ● Allocution 

○ One of the two formats a VIS takes 

○ This is an oral presentation where the victim addresses the court during the sentencing phase 

● Effect and Benefits of Victim Impact Statements 

○ VIC is information about the victim and their unique characteristics ○ Not a lot of people fill out VIC (only about 15% in one study) because... ■ Not aware they can do this 

■ Can’t be located 

■ Dissatisfied with the CJ system 

■ Don’t think input is critical 

■ Fear retaliation 

■ Concerned for own emotional well-being 

○ Different effect theories 

■ Not all use it so that their criminal can get the harshest punishment possible (a victim’s presence in court, VIS, and request for 

incarceration weigh less than the legal variables and prior offense history in the determination of sentencing) 

■ There is no effect

■ Parole boards less likely to recommend inmates for release before the sentence expiration when the victim opposes this action 

■ Exposure to subjects made the jurors more likely to be against the criminal 

■ ***CJ system is largely unaffected by victim input 

● Aggravating and mitigating circumstances 

○ Aggravating Circumstances: factors that render the crime more heinous or despicable 

■ Example: torturing the victim prior to death 

○ Mitigating Circumstances: factors that make the crime more 

understandable 

■ Example: mental impariment 

Chapter 7 

● Infanticide 

○ Child homicide (usually an infant, usually their parents are parental figure) ○ Elder Codes (murdering old people) is less frequent 

● Demographics of homicide ​(the victims) 

○ 78% male 

○ 51% black 

○ 45% white 

○ 40% between 17 and 29 years old 

○ 3.9% infanticide 

● Homicide data sources 

○ UCR 

○ National Center for Health Statistics 

○ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

■ National Violent Death Reporting System (NVSRS) 

● National Violent Death Reporting System

○ The US didn’t have a comprehensive national clearinghouse that stockpiles data regarding violent deaths 

○ So, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention created this ○ Today it involves 32 states 

○ The goal: to collect info for all suicides, homicides, and unintentional firearms in all 50 states 

○ Utilizes: death certificates, medical examiner reports, police files, crime labs, fatality review teams, etc (this allows a more comprehensive picture of the victims, offenders, and circumstances 

● FBI Aggravated Assault 

○ UCR defines aggravated assault as “an unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury” 

● Armed and Strong Armed Robber ​(more information here?) ○ Armed robber is with a weapon 

○ Strong armed robber is without a weapon 

● Homicide Survivor patterns 

○ 5 Stage Process (different survivors adapt and cope with homicide in different ways) 

■ The alcohol-or drug related murder 

■ The domestic violence homicide 

■ The gang-related murder 

■ The isolated sudden murder 

■ The serial murder 

● Major Property Crimes 

○ Burglary 

○ Larceny/Theft 

○ Motor-Vehicle Theft 

○ Arson

● Clearance 

○ In the UCR, law enforcement agencies can clear or close offenses in one of two ways 

■ By arrest 

■ by exceptional means 

○ The agency doesn’t necessarily clear the offense for UCR purproses ○ Therefore, reported crimes may be more than the arrests 

Chapter 8 

● Absolute Exemption 

○ A husband is incapable of raping his wife 

○ If a jurisdiction follows this line of thinking, husbands enjoy an “absolute exemption” and are not prosecuted for spousal rape under any condition ○ Many states have changed this because they are starting to recognize spousal abuse and rape does exist 

● Sexual Battery 

○ Differs from rape which is defined as ““unlawful sexual intercourse committed by a man with a woman not his wife through force against her will” (Four major ones: females are the only victims, it only covers penile penetration, if the people are married to each other it does not count, and the victim isn’t voluntarily agreeing to the act.

○ Sexual battery covers a wider range of unlawful sexual acts that do not fall under the definition of rape. Some major things this does is overlook gender and penile penetration.

● Acquaintance and Date Rape 

○ When the victim and offender know each other and have a friendly, non-combative interaction up until the attack 

○ The victim can be talked into having sex, be inebriated, made guilty for not wanting to have sex, or doing it with false promises (ex: marriage)

○ This is a misconception that sexual assault only occurs when the people don’t know each other. The fact that the people aren’t strangers and there is sometimes no physical force makes people question if this is rape when it is 

● Coker v. GA 

○ 1977 

○ GA and other states allowed the death penalty if there was rape with aggravating circumstances 

○ Coker: serving time in prison for murder, rape, kidnapping, and aggravated assault 

○ Coker escaped prison and was caught again because he robbed and raped 

○ Because of the past situation he was sentenced to death 

○ Coker appealed 

■ Grounds of appeal: punishment was not commensurate with the crime (attorney asked if the death penalty was appropriate for a 

non-capital offense) 

○ Judges agreed with Coker (5-4) 

■ Counted it as cruel and unusual punishment under the 8th 

amendment in respect to rape of an adult woman 

● Kennedy v. LA 

○ The court revisited the death penalty in sexual battery cases when the victim is a child 

○ The Coker decision specifically looked at adult women, so many observers thought that the death penalty could still be used in child rape cases that excluded homicide 

○ The LA law defined child rape as an adult having forcibly having sex with a chiold under the age of 12 and was punishable by the death penalty

○ This case involved a situation where the defendant sexually battered his 8 year old step daughter 

■ The child had many internal injuries and needed to go to the hospital right away (doc said it was the worst he had seen) 

○ Court dismissed the suggestion the Coker decision only applied to adults ● Sexual Assault findings, UCR vs. NCVS 

○ UCR 

■ Used the legal definition of rape to record sexual battery until 2014 ● With “legacy definition” 26.4 per 100K women is the crime 

rape of sexual battery 

● With the expanded definition it is 36.6 per 100K women 

(however we only have 2 years of data to go off for this, 

keep this in mind) 

○ NCVS 

■ In the 1960s and 1970s the women’s movement proclaimed that the rape stats were too low and inaccurate. Early victimization 

surveys supported this. 

■ National Opinion Research Center (NORC) found that there were 4x more rapes than the UCR showed 

● Even though there were problems with first victimization 

survey it did show that there wasn’t much validity in the UCR 

■ NCVS changed their questions to get more specific about sexual battery 

● Under this redesigned format, there was an increase in 

reported sexual assault incidents 

● Found that young females are more likely to be rape victims 

and that non-stranger rapes (ex: date rapes) are 73% of the 

incidences 

○ Comparing the UCR with the NCVS over Time

■ UCR data has a smooth steady pattern but in a downward trend 1973-2013 while the NCVS show a downward trend but choppy 

● Changes in gender roles results in greater reporting 

● Victims started reported more sexual assaults that involve 

people they knew, involvement with alcohol, and relatives 

● Changes in the police department 

● Victimization survey didn’t have anything that explicitly asked about rape 

● National Violence Against Women Survey 

○ The National Institute of Justice and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention got together to sponsor this survey 

○ Involved 8K women and 8K men 

○ Goal: provide survey data on the prevalence, incidence, and consequences of violence against women 

○ More behavior based Qs 

○ Results: ⅙ US women and 1/33 US men had been sexually assaulted in their lifetime 

○ Made distinction between incidence of rape (number of victimizations) and prevalence of rape (number of victims) 

● Inflated Sexual Battery Statistics – contributors 

○ Looked at lifetime occurrences or since you were around 14 (this means their stats are a lot higher because the NCVS only looks at the past year) ○ Date rape looks at a broader category of sexual coercion 

○ Date rape usually restricted to college students 

○ The wording of the questions format the responses 

○ Interview methodology can affect the quality and type of data obtained ○ These interpretations are by advocates so we can not always blindly follow them 

● Intra-individual theories

○ Locating the cause of deviant behavior inside the person 

○ Ex: rape and sexual assault stemming from psychopathology (this makes it seem like it's just a few people doing this and that it uncommon) ● Socio-cultural theories 

○ External events that cause the behavior 

○ Abuse of women is because of a historical treatment of women and the patriarchal makeup of society which creates male privilege and structured inequality that portrays women as inferior and lacking social power (feminist POV) 

■ Updated sociocultural definition: rape is a means of showing and promoting male domination in a society in which formal ownership of females is no longer permitted 

● Rape Myths 

○ *Know the broad themes of rape myths 

○ Sexual crime committed by a man 

○ Doesn’t happen very often 

○ Mostly committed by strangers in dark places 

○ Women report rapes to get even with men 

○ Women who get raped deserve it 

○ When make get sexually aroused they have to have sex or they’ll explode ○ When a woman says no she really means maybe or yes 

○ If a woman wears certain clothing that means that she wants sex ○ It’s okay to have sex with someone if they are inebriated 

● Crisis Reaction Repair Cycle phases 

○ Impact 

■ Shock, distress, and a bunch of emotions 

○ Recoil 

■ acknowledging the event took place

○ Reorganization 

■ putting the trauma into perspective

● Rape Trauma Syndrome 

○ More broadly it’s PTSD because it is a response to a major traumatic event 

● Utmost Resistance/consent 

○ Any victim who is unwilling to submit to a sexual attack should resist to her utmost capacity 

○ A woman would submit only if her struggles would bring her to the brink of death 

○ Legal reforms eliminated this because no other victims are held to this standard 

■ This shows a change in response to victims 

■ Also brought up that people can withdraw consent at anytime 

● Shield Provisions 

○ Many attorneys would attack the women’s credibility by making an issue of her sexual past 

○ Not okay to rapte someone because of who they are 

○ Seuxal behavior done’st matter 

○ Judge can request this info if lawyer argues it’s relative to the case but they must look at it alone 

● Evidence in Camera 

○ The court judgint eh revelanchy of any evidence about the victim’s history “in camera” means that it is out of public earshot 

● Rape kit purpose 

○ To collect evidence in sexual assault cases 

Chapter 9 

● Intimate Partner Violence 

○ Pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.

○ Can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or THREATS of actions that influence another person. 

○ Intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure or wound someone. 

● Contributors to male Dominance 

○ Early Roman Law, Bible, Christianity and English Common Law treated women as property of their husbands 

■ Women subject to control of their fathers or husbands who held power of life and death over them 

○ Women held no legal standing in history--crime against a woman was seen as a crime against the husband or father 

● Patriarchy 

○ Creates a male privilege or structured inequality that portrays women as inferior and lacking in social power 

● Intra-individual explanations 

○ Locating the cause of deviant behavior inside the person 

○ Individual factors that cause or contribute to behavior 

■ Use of alcohol or drugs may make the person more violent 

■ The of alcohol or drugs may break down the barriers that would normally prevent them from committing the act 

■ *Little research to know which one is true 

● Socio-cultural Explanations 

○ Sociocultural perspective views the abuse of women as an outcome of their historical treatment in society 

● Forms of IPV 

○ Physical Abuse 

■ Hitting, slapping, shoving, grabbing, etc. Includes denying partner medical care or forced alcohol and drug use 

○ Sexual Abuse

■ Coercing or attempting to coerce any sexual contact or behavior without consent. Includes marital rape, attacks on body, forced sex, treating one in a sexually demeaning way 

○ Emotional Abuse 

■ Undermining individual’s sense of self-worth or self esteem abuse. Includes constant criticism, diminishing ability, name-calling or 

damaging relationship with the children 

○ Economic Abuse 

■ Attempting or making individual financially dependent by 

maintaining total control over finances, witholding access to money, forbidding attendance at school or employment 

○ Psychological Abuse 

■ Causing fear by intimidation, threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, or family. Destruction of pets/property, isolation forced upon subject from school, friends, family or work. 

● Limits of Conflict Tactics Scale 

○ CTS assesses the extent of marital violence through responses ○ Only one member of a household was surveyed--no comparative data to gauge responses--husbands tend to see less violence than do wives ○ How does one assess the degree of conflict? No indication to objects being used, number of times an act occurred, degree of force, or strength differences 

○ No information on severity of the harm inflicted and no information on length of marriage, age of people, socioeconomic conditions or 

demographics 

● Sexual Symmetry 

○ Idea that women are equally as violent as their partners 

○ Ignores relationship between gender and power 

● Battered Woman Syndrome

○ Explanation for self-defense, where homicides towards men who victimize their women occur 

■ So traumatized that they kill their assailants to prevent further victimization 

○ “A woman’s home is often her dungeon” 

● Cycle of Violence 

○ Battered women are not beaten everyday, but rather through a cycle of violence that gradually brings feelings of powerlessness and inability to alter situation 

○ Three Phases 

■ Tension-building: Minor assaults, where the woman believes she can deflect bullying 

■ Calms situation by conceding to his wishes and becomes grateful that his behavior isn’t as serious as it could be 

■ Makes excuses for man’s behavior; calls them isolated events and rationalizes the outbursts 

○ Battering Episode 

■ Culmination of frustration experienced, man is out of control 

■ Wants to teach woman a lesson, not trying to inflict fear on her and stops when he thinks she learned the lesson 

■ Disinhibition: blame it on the a-a-a-a-alcohol 

○ Reconciliation period 

■ Batterer transforms self into apologetic, tender and loving character ■ Pleas for forgiveness and promise of a better future--clouds anger or fear that victim experienced 

■ Partner truly believes he will not hurt her again and can control self ■ Little romantic acts to deter from battering behavior 

● Learned Helplessness

○ Emotional dependency develops as learned helplessness grows. Woman becomes more enthralled with husband--economic dependency may also occur. 

● Minneapolis Experiment 

○ Investigated situations of arrest on IPV cases; how effective police response is in preventing further episodes of DV 

■ Automatic Arrest 

■ Cool-off period 

■ Counseling or referral to social service agency 

○ Findings: police took abuser into custody then there was less IPV that occured. More arrests occurred when possible. 

● Selective Enforcement 

○ Police only arrest some violators for some of their actions some of the time, rather than full enforcement where they arrest every violator for every illegal act whenever possible. Individuals are free to exercise their own discretion when deciding whom to arrest. 

● Misdemeanor Rule 

○ An officer may carry out a lawful arrest for a felony offense, with or without an arrest warrant as long as probable cause exists. 

○ Misdemeanors, however, the only way a warrantless arrest can occur is if the offense occurred in their presence 

○ This rule hampers effective police intervention, especially in IPV misdemeanor situations. 

○ Some states declared IPV as an exception to misdemeanor rule, and removes the “in presence of an officer” requirement. 

● Disinhibition 

○ The abuser drinks alcohol and blames his actions on the alcohol ● Injunctions 

○ A restraining or protection order against the abuser

○ Interrupts the cycle of violence and allows the victim an opportunity to contemplate an effective exit from the relationship 

● External Validity 

○ Another way of asking how generalizable the results of a study are. Do the Minneapolis results apply just to that city or to other locations? Some believe that it was a study in only one city, not from many cities with consistent results. 

● Criminogenic Effect 

○ Arresting an offender may cause greater subsequent offending. ● Affidavit 

○ An official complaint in which the victim outlines details of the offense and swears under oath that the individual named in the accusation is the offender. Completion of this and issue of a warrant by a judge gives police authority to arrest the suspect on misdemeanor charge. 

● No-Drop prosecution policies 

○ In the common event that victims often stay with abusers and request the dismissal of charges, that it forces victims to carry through the case because of the state’s choice, not the victim. This is in place to hold the offender accountable of their actions rather than dismissing them at the victim’s disposal. 

● Forfeiture by Wrongdoing 

○ If the defendant obstructs the prosecution by threatening, intimidating, or actually harming the victim, then they forfeit any 6th amendment protections against statements made outside the courtroom 

● Davis v. Washington 

○ Supreme Court drew a distinction between testimonial and nontestimonial statements: the information during McConttry’s 911 call did not constitiute testimony for the purpose of proving guilt but rather for police assistance

for an emergency. Hammon situation, on the other hand, did not involve immediate danger but was testimonial to prosecute the offender. ● Anti-stalking statute basics 

○ Existence of threatening behavior 

○ Criminal intent by the offender 

○ Repetition in the activity 

● Stalking and Cycle of Violence 

○ Stalking tends to occur once the victim decided to end the cycle of violence. The male partner may be at a loss as to how best regain control over her, and may resort to stalking behavior to re-establish control and thwart her escape. Also known as partner stalking. 

● Castle Doctrine 

○ Set of protections towards those with battered women’s syndrome who kill their abuser and seek executive clemency. These protections state that the woman was cornered into her own home and lashing out at the abuser is the only convincing way to end the abuse. 

● Battered Women’s Syndrome requirements for clemency consideration ○ Applicant must be a woman 

○ Must be incarcerated for murder of an intimate partner 

○ Must document history of abusive behavior from her partner 

○ Must have completed a portion of imposed sentence 

○ Must have an acceptable outlook on her experience.

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