Now is the time to comment on the proposed changes to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. While there are a number of proposed changes, I am particularly interested on those related to crime victims.
In 2004, Congress passed and the President signed into law the Justice for All Act which includes the Crime Victims Rights Act. (CVRA) Currently, a proposal to consider changes to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure to implement part of the CVRA:
The proposed rule changes to Rule 32 regarding sentencing rather than advance Congress' intent to advance victim participation, actually would reduce the right of federal crime victims to speak to the court regarding what the sentence should be.
For details, you can read my testimony at:
The referenced testimony includes several related articles including material regarding the Federal Sentencing Guidelines and examples from Maryland's law related to crime victims and sentencing.
February 15, 2007 is the last day to be heard on the proposed changes. For anyone so inclined to submit comments, you can submit them by email to:
Victims have fought hard to have their voices heard at the table. Courts hear from prosecutors, defense attorneys, defendants, and probation agents. Victims want to be able to speak to have their views considered too. The Federal Rules should be clear.
I would appreciate any thoughts regarding the proposed changes and the testimony submitted.