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The Justice for All Act
April 2006


What Is the Justice for All Act?
The Justice for All Act of 2004 was enacted 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.
Full Fact Sheet

What the Justice for All Act of 2004 Contains
The Act enumerates eight specified rights that crime victims have.

What the Act Accomplishes
The Act requires prosecutors to let victims know that they can seek the advice of an attorney about the rights established by the Act; allows victims to file motions to reopen a plea or a sentence in certain circumstances; and mandates that victims have the right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding involving release, plea, or sentencing.

Asserting and Enforcing Victims' Rights
Either the victim or the Government may assert the victim's rights in the district court and may file a petition with the court of appeals if not satisfied.

Additional Provisions To Promote Compliance
The Act requires that the Attorney General designate a DOJ administrative authority to investigate complaints about violations of crime victims' rights and to create sanctions for DOJ employees who fail to meet obligations to victims.

Limitations of the Act
The Act does not create a separate cause of action allowing victims to bring suit against the Federal Government, nor is it intended to impair prosecutorial discretion in the case. The Act creates no attorney-client relationship between the victim and a representative of the Department of Justice.

Authorized Funding
Funding is authorized for developing and establishing programs for the enforcement of crime victims' rights; training and technical assistance; victim notification; and U.S. Attorneys' Offices for Victim/Witness Assistance Programs.

First Test Case
In a case involving a father and son who swindled dozens of victims, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit gave victims the right to speak at sentencing hearings, not just to submit victim impact statements.

For More Information

OVC Resource Center: 301-519-5500
Toll Free: 1-800-851-3420
TTY: 301-947-8374
OVC Training and Technical Assistance Center: 1-866-OVC-TTAC
TTY: 1-866-682-8880

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  • 4-page PDF file (749 kb)

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Office of Justice Programs Seal The Office for Victims of Crime is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

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