Proposed Victims' Rights Amendment to the US Constitution

Draft 

JOINT RESOLUTION 


Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to protect the rights of crime victims. 

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid for all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission by the Congress, and which shall
take effect on the 180th day after ratification of this article: 

"ARTICLE - 


"SECTION 1. The rights of victims of violent crime being vital to a system of ordered liberty and being capable of protection without abridging the rights of those accused or convicted of victimizing them, the rights of any such victim to full consideration and fair treatment in the prosecution and punishment of crime shall not be abridged by any State or the United States.

"SECTION 2. Victims of violent crimes shall have the rights to timely notice of any release, escape, and public proceeding involving the crime; not to be excluded from such proceedings; to be heard at release, plea, sentencing, commutation, and pardon proceedings; and not to be subjected to undue delay, or to decisions that disregard their safety or their just claims to restitution; nor shall these rights be restricted, except when, and to the degree that, compelling necessity dictates.

"SECTION 3. Nothing in this article shall be construed to provide grounds for a new trial or to authorize any claim for damages.

"SECTION 4. Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."