Witness and Victim Protection Act

IN 1982, Congress initiated the Victim and Witness Protection Act (VWPA) as a means of providing restitution for victims of financial crimes. With the passing of this act, federal courts are allowed to provide for victims of crimes by sanctioning the defendant with fines directly intended for the victim. This differs from prior legislation in that traditionally fines were paid to the court and then used to offset court costs, fees, and other legal costs. Under the modifications provided by the VWPA, victims of crimes are entitled to receive compensation for their pain, suffering, or loss.

While victim restitution is one of the more important aspects of the act, it is not for restitution that the act is best known. Rather, it is the witness ...

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