History of Victim's Rights
Thank you President Ronald Reagan.
If not for you, Victims of Crimes would not have been given a Voice in our Judicial System Process.
Presidents Task force on Victims of Crime
The Honorable Ronald Reagan, President of the United States
Dear Mr. President:
When you established the President's Task force on Victims of Crime on April 23, 1982, you led the nation into a new era in the treatment of victims of crime. Never before has any President recognized the plight of those forgotten by the criminal justice system--the innocent victims of crime.
In the meeting the charge that gave us, we reviewed the available literature on the subject of criminal victimization; we interviewed professionals, both in and out of the criminal justice system, who are responsible for serving victims; and, most importantly, we spoke with citizens from around the country whose lives have been altered by crime.
We found that the perception you shared when you gave us our charge is, unfortunately, true. The innocent victims of crime have been overlooked, their pleas for justice have gone unheeded, and their wounds---personal, emotional, and financial---have gone unattended.
We also found that there is no quick remedy to the innocent victim's plight. Only the sustained efforts of federal, state, and local governments, combined with the resources of the private sector, can restore balance to the criminal justice system.
Citizens from all over the nation told us again and again how heartened they were that this Administration has taken up the challenge, ignored by others in the past, of stopping the mistreatment and neglect of the innocent by those who take liberty for license and by the system of justice itself.
Very Truly Yours,
Lois Haight Herrington, Chairman
The Proposed Amendment to the Constitution:
In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy trial and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense. Likewise, the victim, in every criminal prosecution shall have the right to be present and to be heard at all critical stages of judicial proceedings.
TODAY-- ALL 50 STATES HAVE VICTIMS RIGHTS IN PLACE
Presidents Task Force Recommendations for Law Enforcement:
 President's Task Force on Victims of Crime. Final Report - December 1982