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Issue Position: Protecting the Rights of Crime Victims

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Steve's View: "We cannot afford to give the edge to criminals. At the federal level, we can look for ways to assist local law enforcement in better targeting criminals; and we can also do more to provide additional support to victims of crime."

Congressman Chabot served for six years as Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Consitution and has held several hearings on the rights of crime victims and sponsored legislation aimed at giving victims a louder voice in court proceedings.

The Criminal Restitution Improvement Act: On October 30, 2004, President George W. Bush signed into law the Justice for All Act of 2004, which included the Crime Victims Rights Act (CVRA). Congressman Chabot was the author and principle sponsor of the CVRA, which also includes a provision, that would help identify victims of crime by authorizing grants to states for the DNA testing of all unidentified human remains.

The CVRA, for the first time, provided enforceable procedural rights for crime victims in federal court. Those rights include the right to be reasonably protected from the accused; the right to be notified of, and not excluded from, public proceedings involving their case; the right to be heard at release, plea, or sentencing; the right to confer with the government attorney; the right to full and timely restitution; the right to be free from unreasonable delays in proceedings; and the right to respect.

On February 6, 2007 Congressman Chabot introduced the Criminal Restitution Improvement Act of 2007, H.R. 845, a bill that increases restitution collection efforts and enacts policies to help law enforcement make victims whole.

The Criminal Restitution Improvement Act makes restitution mandatory for federal crimes resulting in pecuniary loss to identifiable victims, including loss proximately resulting from such crimes.


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