Victims Rights

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Victims’ Rights paper
Sandee Maige
CJA 313 Contemporary Issues In Criminal Justice
Professor Hale
May 20, 2010

As Americans in the United States we [Use "we," "us," or "our" to mean yourself and coauthors, not general humanity (or yourself and the reader)] are entitled [The passive voice is a form of "be" (are) and a participle (entitled). Over-use of the passive voice can make paragraphs tedious to read and officious. Try to use the active voice most often, e.g., the student completed the paper on time. The passive voice version--The paper was completed on time by the student--See eCampus>CWE>Tutorials & Guides>Grammar & Writing Guides>Active & passive voice] and fortunate to have rights if we [Place comma before this word if this is the end of the introductory phrase (beginning with "As")] are a victim of a crime. Over the years victims’ have been part of the legal system but have often been ignored. [Passive voice] Victims need a voice and in the past have been left out of the legal process in which they should have the right to be a part of. The victims are not the only ones who suffer but they also have been neglected [Passive voice] in having [Clearer writing suggestion--"having" as a transitive verb is vague. Reconsider the sentence, as in "possessing," "acquiring," "developing," etc. Often "having" can simply be deleted] the right to be heard at the sentencing to hear the deliverance of the consequences their offender will face. Fortunately, this has changed over the span of 20 years, and the legal process has given victims the right to truth, justice and [Check punctuation--insert a comma before this word if this is the last in a list of more than two--or if it begins a new clause] resolution. They are now [Clearer writing suggestion--"Now" is a tricky concept. If the sentence is in the past tense, it probably should be rendered as "then." If not, and unless you are making a philosophical statement (Now is the time to improve myself) or mean "as of the present time" (the business is now known as Ajax Corporation), consider removing "now"--because this is being read after the time you wrote it, your "now" is in the past] respected [Passive voice] and given the right to be treated [Passive voice] with dignity and respect.

What is a Victim? [Unless in a quote, avoid rhetorical questions in academic writing] Victim, has been defined [Passive voice] as any person who has suffered directly, indirectly harm, including physical or mental injury, emotional suffering, economic loss or substantial impairment of fundamental rights, as a result of crimes within the jurisdiction of a court (Amnesty International USA Program for International Justice). Twenty years ago Victims were treated [Passive voice] as witnesses. They were not actually [Cliché: "actual" and "actually" are weak words whose meaning is nothing more than "in point of fact." They are often used as intensifiers but usually can be deleted with no change in meaning ] participants in the justice system. They were limited [Passive voice] to court proceedings and to the amount of input being [Doctoral rule (but good advice for any academic writer)--If not a noun (as in "human being"), the word "Being" is hard to imagine; it means "existing." Try to rewrite this without using "being"--with words like "attending," "working," "living," "experiencing," simply "as"--or even removing "being" completely] able to provide in relation to their case.

The Witness Program was founded in the 1970’s [Check spelling: if the preceding is a year, following the year with apostrophe-s means possessive; leave out the apostrophe before s] to provide victims...
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