Prologue: On Some Visible and Hidden Dangers of Victim Movements
Recent years have witnessed a revival of interest in the victims of crime. Today there seems to be a genuine concern in our society for this disenfranchised and neglected group of citizens who suffer the direct consequences of criminality. Ever since the State monopolized the right to criminal prosecution and converted the “Wergeld,” i.e. the indemnity payable to the victim or his family, to a fine destined for the king’s coffers, the victim has been the forgotten man in the criminal process, the party in the shadow, used to buttress the State’s case and abused if he refused to co-operate or testify. And despite some progress in the last decade society’s reaction to crime victims has not changed much. When a crime is committed, society’s energies and resources are mobilized to find, catch and punish the culprit.
KeywordsCriminal Justice Criminal Process White Collar Crime Crime Victim Criminal Policy
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