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Lecture 5

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Ryerson University
CRM 100
Tammy Landau

Victims in the Criminal Process Historical Aspect of the “Victim”  Emergence of the “state” as the victim  Criminal vs. civil law o The wrong is done on society, represented by the victim o Civil law – disputes  “victims lost the important right to determine the essence of transgression and the state began to use law to define offences independent of the victim’s sense of harm. From the perspective of traditional victimology, this point marked the beginning of neglect of the victim” Due Process Model of the Criminal Justice System  the state possesses extraordinary powers  individual citizens are weak in comparison to the state  the criminal justice system is one of the most coercive (ability to use force) arms of the state  we must protect individuals accused persons when faced by criminal allegations by the state by creating barriers to the exercise of state power Role of the Victim in the Due Process Model  reporting crimes to police  as a witness in the criminal process  victim is just another witness; primary witness  limited in the post-conviction stage Emergence of the Victims Rights Movement  rising crime rate in the 1960’s and 1970’s o both Canada and the USA o there was a lot of unreported crime  the politicization of crime o crime began to be apart of politics  linkages with other social movements o victims movement and how it fit in well with the social movements in the 60s and 70s o example – the women’s movement; women in the law; enforcement o example – civil rights movement; black people being treated poorly from the criminal justice system  shifts in criminology Christie’s (1986) Definition of “The Ideal Victim”  the victim is weak; physically (elderly, disabled, emotionally, children)  the victim was carrying out a respectable project; helping the homeless, volunteering, going to work, participating in charitable organizations, protecting someone, going to school, going to church, 
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