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May 26, 2009

Interesting new paper on victims rights to restitution in Illinois

I just notice on SSRN this new paper titled "Monetary Remedies for Victims During Illinois Criminal Cases." Here is the abstract:

The Illinois Crime Victim’s Rights Amendment, added to the Illinois Constitution by the legislature and the voters in 1992, includes a 'right to restitution'.  The amendment spurred some new legislation, now within the Rights of Crime Victims and Witnesses Act.  But most crime victims still have little chance for restitution or other monetary remedies during criminal cases. Other remedies include recoveries from a state fund guided by the Crime Victims Compensation Act and recoveries ordered at sentencing under the Unified Code of Corrections Act.  The paper first examines the Illinois constitutional right to restitution and the three separate acts recognizing possible monetary remedies for crime victims during criminal cases. Upon concluding that the constitutional right to restitution has not been adequately implemented by the legislature or the courts, the paper looks to other American state approaches to crime victim recoveries.  For Illinois it proposes that the three acts be combined into a single statutory scheme, organized by the stages in a criminal case.  Integrated provisions would held better secure the goal of enhanced recoveries by crime victims established by the overwhelming majorities of constitutional amendment drafters and voters.

Because I am a fan of victims' restitution rights at sentencing and also a fan of financial punishments, I hope this paper's efforts to better secure the goal of enhanced recoveries by crime victims is successful in Illinois and elsewhere.

May 26, 2009 at 04:45 PM | Permalink


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I've been doing criminal defense work for over 30 years. Most defendants lack the ability to pay for counsel. They can't pay their fines, nor their court costs. They can't repay the cost of court-appointed counsel. For these failures to pay, though their inability to do so is never actually given any serious consideration by the probation officers, nor by the judges, they are found in violation of their probation, and jailed. They never had the ability to pay any serious amount of restitution, either. I am at a total loss to see why the people who write these pieces of legislation, and those who try to enforce them, see the indigent class of criminal defendants as milch cows to remedy all the financial ills of the criminal justice system.

Posted by: Greg Jones | May 26, 2009 5:17:18 PM

Greg: You are being played. Most of your clients are filthy rich from their drug business or their hundreds of crimes committed. They likely make 10 times your salary. What an innocent naif.

Once convicted, it should be required to water board them until the locations of all their assets has been revealed. All costs, including tort style payments for victim injuries and mental trauma, should then be assessed to their $millions in assets.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 26, 2009 10:41:16 PM

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