The Justice for All Act of 2004 (H.R. 5107, Public Law 108-405) (the Act) was signed into law by President George W. Bush on Oct. 30, 2004. The Act contains four major sections related to crime victims and the criminal justice process. Some of the purposes of the Act are to protect crime victims' rights, eliminate the substantial backlog of DNA samples collected from crime scenes and convicted offenders, and improve and expand the DNA testing capacity of federal, state, and local crime laboratories.
The first section of the Act establishes the rights of crime victims in federal criminal proceedings and provides mechanisms for enforcing these rights.
Section 3771 (a) of this Act amends the federal criminal code to grant crime victims specified rights, including:
- The right to be reasonably protected from the accused.
- The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any public court proceeding or any parole proceeding involving the crime, or of any release or escape of the accused.
- The right not to be excluded from any such public court proceeding, unless the court, after receiving clear and convincing evidence, determines that testimony by the victim would be materially altered if the victim heard other testimony at that proceeding.
- The right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district court involving release, plea, sentencing, or any parole proceeding.
- The reasonable right to confer with the attorney for the Government in the case.
- The right to full and timely restitution as provided in law.
- The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay.
- The right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim's dignity and privacy.
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