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July 6, 2006

Ninth Circuit says CVRA does not give victim right to PSR

The Ninth Circuit, in a brief new per curiam opinion in Kenna v. US District Court for the Central District of California, No. 06-73352 (9th Cir. July 5, 2006) (available here), summarily rejects a crime victim's claim that the Crime Victims' Rights Act (CVRA) gives victims a right to obtain disclosure of a full presentence report.  (One sentence in the opinion hints that the victim's arguments on appeal would have been stronger if he was willing to consider partial disclosure of the PSR.)

Notably, in a prior Kenna ruling (discussed here), the Ninth Circuit spoke grandly about the rights conferred by the CVRA to crime victims at sentencing.  The Circuit boldly asserted that the "statute was enacted to make crime victims full participants in the criminal justice system."  But, to be a full participant in the sentencing process, a victim would need access to the PSR on the same terms that the prosecution and defense have access to it.  But, the second time around in Kenna, a broad vision of crime victim rights at sentencing do not carry the day.

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July 6, 2006 at 02:40 PM | Permalink

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defense attorney. Recently Alaska had its VCRA reviewed in Cooper v. District Court. Interesting reading, the court limited the role of rights of victims also.

Posted by: randall cavanaugh | Jul 7, 2006 1:28:10 PM

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