“Every year in April, OVC helps lead communities throughout the country in their annual observances of National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW), which will be observed in 2016 on April 10–16. This year's theme—Serving Victims. Building Trust. Restoring Hope.—underscores the importance of early intervention and victim services in establishing trust with victims, which in turn begins to restore their hope for healing and recovery.” “OVC” = The Office for Victims of Crime, a component of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.
That is roughly related to values supposedly promoted by California “Victims' Bill of Rights.” That piece of beneficent propaganda is enshrined in Section 28 of the state Constitution:
SEC. 28. (a) The People of the State of California find and declare
all of the following:
(1) Criminal activity has a serious impact on the citizens of
California. The rights of victims of crime and their families in
criminal prosecutions are a subject of grave statewide concern.
(2) Victims of crime are entitled to have the criminal justice
system view criminal acts as serious threats to the safety and
welfare of the people of California. The enactment of comprehensive
provisions and laws ensuring a bill of rights for victims of crime,
including safeguards in the criminal justice system fully protecting
Those rights and ensuring that crime victims are treated with respect
and dignity, is a matter of high public importance. California's
victims of crime are largely dependent upon the proper functioning of
government, upon the criminal justice system and upon the
expeditious enforcement of the rights of victims of crime described
herein, in order to protect the public safety and to secure justice
when the public safety has been compromised by criminal activity.
(3) The rights of victims pervade the criminal justice system.
These rights include personally held and enforceable rights described
in paragraphs (1) through (17) of subdivision (b).
(4) The rights of victims also include broader shared collective
rights that are held in common with all of the People of the State of
California and that are enforceable through the enactment of laws
and through good-faith efforts and actions of California's elected,
appointed, and publicly employed officials. These rights encompass
the expectation shared with all of the people of California that
persons who commit felonious acts causing injury to innocent victims
will be appropriately and thoroughly investigated, appropriately
detained in custody, brought before the courts of California even if
arrested outside the State, tried by the courts in a timely manner,
sentenced, and sufficiently punished so that the public safety is
protected and encouraged as a goal of highest importance.
(5) Victims of crime have a collectively shared right to expect
that persons convicted of committing criminal acts are sufficiently
punished in both the manner and the length of the sentences imposed
by the courts of the State of California. This right includes the
right to expect that the punitive and deterrent effect of custodial
sentences imposed by the courts will not be undercut or diminished by
the granting of rights and privileges to prisoners that are not
required by any provision of the United States Constitution or by the
laws of this State to be granted to any person incarcerated in a
penal or other custodial facility in this State as a punishment or
correction for the commission of a crime.
(6) Victims of crime are entitled to finality in their criminal
cases. Lengthy appeals and other post-judgment proceedings that
challenge criminal convictions, frequent and difficult parole
hearings that threaten to release criminal offenders, and the ongoing
threat that the sentences of criminal wrongdoers will be reduced,
prolong the suffering of crime victims for many years after the
crimes themselves have been perpetrated. This prolonged suffering of
crime victims and their families must come to an end.
(7) Finally, the People find and declare that the right to public
safety extends to public and private primary, elementary, junior
high, and senior high school, and community college, California State
University, University of California, and private college and
university campuses, where students and staff have the right to be
safe and secure in their persons.
(8) To accomplish the goals it is necessary that the laws of
California relating to the criminal justice process be amended in
order to protect the legitimate rights of victims of crime.
(b) In order to preserve and protect a victim's rights to justice
and due process, a victim shall be entitled to the following rights:
(1) To be treated with fairness and respect for his or her privacy
and dignity, and to be free from intimidation, harassment, and
abuse, throughout the criminal or juvenile justice process.
(2) To be reasonably protected from the defendant and persons
acting on behalf of the defendant.
(3) To have the safety of the victim and the victim's family
considered in fixing the amount of bail and release conditions for
(4) To prevent the disclosure of confidential information or
records to the defendant, the defendant's attorney, or any other
person acting on behalf of the defendant, which could be used to
locate or harass the victim or the victim's family or which disclose
confidential communications made in the course of medical or
counseling treatment, or which are otherwise privileged or
confidential by law.
(5) To refuse an interview, deposition, or discovery request by
the defendant, the defendant's attorney, or any other person acting
on behalf of the defendant, and to set reasonable conditions on the
conduct of any such interview to which the victim consents.
(6) To reasonable notice of and to reasonably confer with the
prosecuting agency, upon request, regarding, the arrest of the
defendant if known by the prosecutor, the charges filed, the
determination whether to extradite the defendant, and, upon request,
to be notified of and informed before any pretrial disposition of the
(7) To reasonable notice of all public proceedings, including
delinquency proceedings, upon request, at which the defendant and the
prosecutor are entitled to be present and of all parole or other
post-conviction release proceedings, and to be present at all such
(8) To be heard, upon request, at any proceeding, including any
delinquency proceeding, involving a post-arrest release decision,
plea, sentencing, post-conviction release decision, or any proceeding
in which a right of the victim is at issue.
(9) To a speedy trial and a prompt and final conclusion of the
case and any related post-judgment proceedings.
(10) To provide information to a probation department official
conducting a pre-sentence investigation concerning the impact of the
offense on the victim and the victim's family and any sentencing
recommendations before the sentencing of the defendant.
(11) To receive, upon request, the pre-sentence report when
available to the defendant, except for those portions made
confidential by law.
(12) To be informed, upon request, of the conviction, sentence,
place and time of incarceration, or other disposition of the
defendant, the scheduled release date of the defendant, and the
release of or the escape by the defendant from custody.
(13) To restitution.
(A) It is the unequivocal intention of the People of the State of
California that all persons who suffer losses as a result of criminal
activity shall have the right to seek and secure restitution from
the persons convicted of the crimes causing the losses they suffer.
(B) Restitution shall be ordered from the convicted wrongdoer in
every case, regardless of the sentence or disposition imposed, in
which a crime victim suffers a loss.
(C) All monetary payments, monies, and property collected from any
person who has been ordered to make restitution shall be first
applied to pay the amounts ordered as restitution to the victim.
(14) To the prompt return of property when no longer needed as
(15) To be informed of all parole procedures, to participate in
the parole process, to provide information to the parole authority to
be considered before the parole of the offender, and to be notified,
upon request, of the parole or other release of the offender.
(16) To have the safety of the victim, the victim's family, and
the general public considered before any parole or other
post-judgment release decision is made.
(17) To be informed of the rights enumerated in paragraphs (1)
(c) (1) A victim, the retained attorney of a victim, a lawful
representative of the victim, or the prosecuting attorney upon
request of the victim, may enforce the rights enumerated in
subdivision (b) in any trial or appellate court with jurisdiction
over the case as a matter of right. The court shall act promptly on
such a request.
(2) This section does not create any cause of action for
compensation or damages against the State, any political subdivision
of the State, any officer, employee, or agent of the State or of any
of its political subdivisions, or any officer or employee of the
(d) The granting of these rights to victims shall not be construed
to deny or disparage other rights possessed by victims. The court in
its discretion may extend the right to be heard at sentencing to any
person harmed by the defendant. The parole authority shall extend
the right to be heard at a parole hearing to any person harmed by the
(e) As used in this section, a "victim" is a person who suffers
direct or threatened physical, psychological, or financial harm as a
result of the commission or attempted commission of a crime or
delinquent act. The term "victim" also includes the person's spouse,
parents, children, siblings, or guardian, and includes a lawful
representative of a crime victim who is deceased, a minor, or
physically or psychologically incapacitated. The term "victim" does
not include a person in custody for an offense, the accused, or a
person whom the court finds would not act in the best interests of a
(f) In addition to the enumerated rights provided in subdivision
(b) that are personally enforceable by victims as provided in
subdivision (c), victims of crime have additional rights that are
shared with all of the People of the State of California. These
collectively held rights include, but are not limited to, the
(1) Right to Safe Schools. All students and staff of public
primary, elementary, junior high, and senior high schools, and
community colleges, colleges, and universities have the inalienable
right to attend campuses which are safe, secure and peaceful.
(2) Right to Truth-in-Evidence. Except as provided by statute
hereafter enacted by a two-thirds vote of the membership in each
house of the Legislature, relevant evidence shall not be excluded in
any criminal proceeding, including pretrial and post conviction
motions and hearings, or in any trial or hearing of a juvenile for a
criminal offense, whether heard in juvenile or adult court. Nothing
in this section shall affect any existing statutory rule of evidence
relating to privilege or hearsay, or Evidence Code Sections 352, 782
or 1103. Nothing in this section shall affect any existing statutory
or constitutional right of the press.
(3) Public Safety Bail. A person may be released on bail by
sufficient sureties, except for capital crimes when the facts are
evident or the presumption great. Excessive bail may not be required.
In setting, reducing or denying bail, the judge or magistrate shall
take into consideration the protection of the public, the safety of
the victim, the seriousness of the offense charged, the previous
criminal record of the defendant, and the probability of his or her
appearing at the trial or hearing of the case. Public safety and the
safety of the victim shall be the primary considerations.
A person may be released on his or her own recognizance in the
court's discretion, subject to the same factors considered in setting
Before any person arrested for a serious felony may be released on
bail, a hearing may be held before the magistrate or judge, and the
prosecuting attorney and the victim shall be given notice and
reasonable opportunity to be heard on the matter.
When a judge or magistrate grants or denies bail or release on a
person's own recognizance, the reasons for that decision shall be
stated in the record and included in the court's minutes.
(4) Use of Prior Convictions. Any prior felony conviction of any
person in any criminal proceeding, whether adult or juvenile, shall
subsequently be used without limitation for purposes of impeachment
or enhancement of sentence in any criminal proceeding. When a prior
felony conviction is an element of any felony offense, it shall be
proven to the trier of fact in open court.
(5) Truth in Sentencing. Sentences that are individually imposed
upon convicted criminal wrongdoers based upon the facts and
circumstances surrounding their cases shall be carried out in
compliance with the courts' sentencing orders, and shall not be
substantially diminished by early release policies intended to
alleviate overcrowding in custodial facilities. The legislative
branch shall ensure sufficient funding to adequately house inmates
for the full terms of their sentences, except for statutorily
authorized credits which reduce those sentences.
(6) Reform of the parole process. The current process for parole
hearings is excessive, especially in cases in which the defendant has
been convicted of murder. The parole hearing process must be
reformed for the benefit of crime victims.
(g) As used in this article, the term "serious felony" is any
crime defined in subdivision (c) of Section 1192.7 of the Penal Code,
or any successor statute.
But what if you do not want to be treated as a “victim”; what if receiving the “help” from self-serving political do-gooders on the national and state scene does not serve your interests? What if, in your own balance of benefits and risks and costs, you want the government to leave you alone and to allow you to restore your relationship with the person who is ostensibly your victimizer? Then the same benevolent, authoritarian government will brand you stupid, irresponsible, obviously too weak to handle your own affairs, and they will then threaten to seek a warrant for your arrest if you do not show up in court to help them with their agenda about your victimization. You will become a victim of government more perniciously than you were the “victim” of the person government wants to jail.
You see, government cares not a whit about you – it cares about its agenda, and you are a pawn in its self-serving chess game; you must get in line or you will be bowled over. You will be demonized as harshly as they assail the ostensible victimizer if you do not cooperate with their scheme.
The Framers knew that government is inherently evil, sometimes necessarily so, sometimes intolerably so, but evil nonetheless, because its existence axiomatically undermines the growth of individual liberty, which should be the summum bonum of civilized existence. And there is no more clear exemplar of its intolerable evil than the patronizing and then victimizing regime of professional victimization protections promoted, propagandized and celebrated on the national and stage scene.
When a loving Dad does not want his boy to go to prison for hitting him, the government knows better and will threaten to jail the Dad if (1) he doesn't show up in court, or (b) changes his story from that he initially told. If a wife or girlfriend realizes, in balancing the good against the bad and deciding where the calculus benefits her and her kids best, does not was the person who hit her to be punished with jail or retrained from visiting her or their kids, the government knows better, so if she does not get on board their salvation train, they will threaten her, and will threaten to take away the kids. Government knows best and all will heel like a puppy on a leash, or they will be kicked and bruised by the savior government.
The thoughtless authoritarianism associated with our victimization lobby and the “we know better than you” government thugs is terrorism far worse than some of that by turbaned mullahs in distant lands.
Crime victim's rights? Those rights should include the right to be left alone by government and protected from government's intrusion into the family unit. If one has a right to something, he has a right to its opposite. A right to appointment of counsel includes a right to not have counsel; a right to free speech includes a right not to speak; a right to read the Bible includes the right to never have to look at a Bible; a right to pray includes a right not to pray; a right to have a trial before liberty is stolen includes the right to not have a trial and to just give up the fight; a right to be assisted as a victim must necessarily include a right to not be given victims' services and to be left alone. But you see, government is not really faithful to the meaning of rights when there is a heavy moneyed agenda such as the art form of victimization protection at stake.
There is much tyranny and fraud in the victims' rights game; be not deceived, and don't show up at these victimization rallies, or else you enable government evil by appearing to understand and support it.