Recent years have witnessed a growing concern over the rights of crime victims, as well as an accompanying debate over how best to protect those rights. One proposed solution took a significant step forward when the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve a Victims' Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution. In this Essay, Professors Mosteller and Powell argue that the proposed Amendment, along with the "legislative history" interpreting it, represents a failed attempt by the drafters of the Amendment to pacify the interests of victims and various other constituencies concerned about the impact of the Amendment on successful prosecutions and civil rights. Accepting the worthy goal of honoring and protecting victims of crime, they contend that the proposed Amendment and the accompanying detailed and inconsistent judiciary committee report resemble much more closely a complicated and ill-thought-out statute than a statement of constitutional principle. Professors Mosteller and Powell contend that the Victim's Rights Amendment, in its present form, shows disdain for the constitutional craft and, therefore, should not be adopted.
Robert P. Mosteller & H. Jefferson Powell, With Disdain for the Constitutional Craft: The Proposed Victims’ Rights Amendment, 78 North Carolina Law Review 371-398 (1999)