Tennessee’s Constitution: Victim’s Rights

09 August 2012 Categories: All Blogs

During a criminal proceeding, the two parties are the State of Tennessee, represented by the prosecution, and the Defendant, who has been charged with the crime. Because victims were third parties to the crime, they did not have any rights during the proceedings until a 1996 proposal to the Tennessee Constitution that was adopted in 1998. Section 35 of Tennessee’s Declaration of Rights now gives victims of a crime the following rights:

1. The right to confer with the prosecution.

2. The right to be free from intimidation, harassment and abuse throughout the criminal justice system.

3. The right to be present at all proceedings where the defendant has the right to be present.

4. The right to be heard, when relevant, at all critical stages of the criminal justice process as defined by the General Assembly.

5. The right to be informed of all proceedings, and of the release, transfer or escape of the accused or convicted person.

6. The right to a speedy trial or disposition and a prompt and final conclusion of the case after the conviction or sentence.

7. The right to restitution from the offender.

8. The right to be informed of each of the rights established for victims.

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