Victim Rights and Restitution
Gregory P. Orvis
The concept of victim rights is a controversial topic of both ancient and recent origins. In ancient times, before formal government took over the prosecution of crimes, the criminal victim was the focal point of the criminal justice process. During the past four decades, the American criminal justice system has emphasized victim rights more and more. Although financial restitution to victims by their criminal offenders for the costs of crimes was a fundamental right to victims in ancient times, victim rights in the criminal justice system vary depending on what the law of a society grants them in any particular time period. In the United States today, the victim is becoming an increasingly important actor in the criminal justice process and may become a catalyst for radical change in the system in the near future. A crime victim can be defined both as a person whom a criminal offender has ...