October 24 Zeen Li CRM1300 Dr

April 10, 2019 Criminology

October 24
Zeen Li
Dr. Chowdhury

Critical analysis of Chapter 24: Crime Victims and the Justice System

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The context and motivation of the article’s author
The article “Crime Victims and the Justice System” is written by authors Susan McDonald and Michelle G Grossman. The author’s view was that there is overlooking for crime victims by the criminal justice system and therefore the article is in context with raising rights of crime victims. Canada has also introduced legislation so that voice of these crime victims is heard through the criminal justice system. The overall motivation is to drive awareness so that crime victim gets well versed with their rights while necessary changes are done in Criminal Code provisions.

Author’s research issues
Author research the issue around “victim rights” in Canada through review of provisions that are related with crime victim. The federal level development regarding rights of victim is reviewed as part of research issues. There was further review of criminal code provisions were done so as to identify the issues that result in rights of criminal victim rights not getting protected. The issues around victim surcharge and vulnerable victims right were duly evaluated and further discussion around witness and its related issues were part of the author’s work in Crime Victims and the Justice System.

Author’s methods, statistical analysis, and underlying assumptions
Author primary method used in article is opinion based approach while they provided endnote at the end of the article making disclaimer that the work is their personal view and therefore there are certain underline assumptions shown in the article. The data was taken from Statistics Canada from the survey “General social survey on victimization”. The various provisions of Criminal code were analysed using appropriate legislative reference to clarify the information and to further set right level of assumption. The assumptions were not separately highlighted by the author as it was hard to differentiate the referenced work and individual opinion.

Author find and conclude
Author shared conclusive finding that criminal justice system is required to set right regulatory provisions so that right of individual victim gets protected. The research literature highlights the importance of criminal victim and therefore a cross country consultation approach can be further adopted. There is some progress already made in this direction however further improvement can be done considering rights of crime victims. The focus should be around setting up federal victim surcharge so that hefty financial penalty can be put in extra on the offenders to compensate crime victims. The author concluded that there is need to bring reform in Criminal code regulation to manage rights of victim.

Questions around evidences provided by the author
The author discussed evidences through discussing historical view starting year 1988 and further discussed the stages of amendment to Criminal code which was done in the year 2013 to include federal victim surcharge. The questions can be asked around showing appropriate evidences around criminal code provisions and its applicability for crime victims and also to show evidences around provision of sexual offence victims. There is further need for evidences with appropriate provision that is listed in Criminal code justice system to cross-reference the findings.

Distinguish between opinion and evidence
The opinion and evidences are not clearly distinguished as there is very little in-text referencing done to acknowledge the source. The opinion aspect is also not clearly highlighted as there is missing showing opinion using first person approach like use of “I” and “We”. There is no footnote approach follow which is mostly done in legal literature to acknowledge all the sources. Although, there is disclaimer made by author that most of work is his opinion however the use of provisions, law terms have to be presented with strong foot note based evidences.

Chapters with other readings
The chapter about crime victims can be related with other readings in the course which discuss about the overall provisions of criminal code. The aspects like crime correction system, plea negotiation and witness protection approach were discussed in other readings about Criminology. The chapter also discussed about Canadian justice system which is relevant to other course readings.

Alternative explanation for research issues
The alternative explanation can be discussed for victim rights using the correctional system approach so that it helps identify the theme of criminal justice correction process so that the right theme and context gets set. There alternative explanation can be done around review of provisions that can meet victims needs so as to address the vulnerability. The issue can be alternatively discussed using witness protection scheme which mostly fall under the category of victim.

Reason for agreeing and disagreeing with the author
There is an agreement with the author that victim rights are required to be protected. The criminal always tries to pressure victim to pull back case and therefore there is need to set strong regulatory provision under the Criminal Justice System to protect their rights. The witness protection and federal victim surcharge is an agreeable approach so that level of vulnerability for the victim can be further minimized. The author highlighted the weakest part in evidence based judiciary and that is the victim. The focus remains completely on criminal by judiciary system however the victim position and their respective rights are not discussed.

Clarity of writing
The author provided a clear writing and used wide range of legal terms and regulations in simplified way. Although, there was not much distinguish done between opinion and evidence based approach however the overall flow of writing was effective. The author made correct points and able to provide a comprehensive conclusive findings. The overall flow of discussion managed the reader interest and provided insightful findings about the victim and related laws.

1. Linden, Rick. 2015. Criminology: A Canadian Perspective. Eigth edition. Toronto: Nelson.

2. Roberts, Julian V., and Grossman, Michelle G.. 2015. Criminal Justice in Canada: A Reader. Fifth edition. Toronto: Thomson.


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