(Added Pub. L. 97–291, § 4(a),Oct. 12, 1982, 96 Stat. 1249; amended Pub. L. 99–646, § 61,Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3614; Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, § 7029(a), (c),Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4397, 4398; Pub. L. 101–650, title III, § 321,Dec. 1, 1990, 104 Stat. 5117; Pub. L. 103–322, title VI, § 60018, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(O), (U),Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 1975, 2148; Pub. L. 104–214, § 1(2),Oct. 1, 1996, 110 Stat. 3017; Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, § 604(b)(31),Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3508; Pub. L. 107–204, title XI, § 1102,July 30, 2002, 116 Stat. 807; Pub. L. 107–273, div. B, title III, § 3001(a), (c)(1),Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1803, 1804; Pub. L. 110–177, title II, § 205,Jan. 7, 2008, 121 Stat. 2537.)
2008—Subsec. (a)(3)(A). Pub. L. 110–177
, § 205(1)(A), amended subpar. (A) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (A) read as follows: “in the case of murder (as defined in section
), the death penalty or imprisonment for life, and in the case of any other killing, the punishment provided in section
Subsec. (a)(3)(B). Pub. L. 110–177
, § 205(1)(B), substituted “30 years” for “20 years” in concluding provisions.
Subsec. (a)(3)(C). Pub. L. 110–177
, § 205(1)(C), substituted “20 years” for “10 years”.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 110–177
, § 205(2), substituted “20 years” for “ten years” in concluding provisions.
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 110–177
, § 205(3), substituted “3 years” for “one year” in concluding provisions.
2002—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 107–273
, § 3001(a)(1)(A), substituted “as provided in paragraph (3)” for “as provided in paragraph (2)” in concluding provisions.
Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 107–273
, § 3001(a)(1)(C), added par. (2). Former par. (2) redesignated (3).
Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 107–273
, § 3001(a)(1)(B), (D), redesignated par. (2) as (3), added subpars. (B) and (C), and struck out former subpar. (B) which read as follows: “(B) in the case of an attempt, imprisonment for not more than twenty years.”
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 107–273
, § 3001(a)(2), struck out “or physical force” after “intimidation” in introductory provisions.
Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 107–273
, § 3001(c)(1), inserted “supervised release,” after “probation”.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 107–204
added subsec. (c). Former subsec. (c) redesignated (d).
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 107–204
redesignated former subsec. (c) as (d). Former subsec. (d) redesignated (e).
Subsec. (d)(2). Pub. L. 107–273
, § 3001(c)(1), inserted “supervised release,” after “probation”.
Subsecs. (e) to (j). Pub. L. 107–204
redesignated former subsecs. (d) to (i) as (e) to (j), respectively.
Subsec. (k). Pub. L. 107–273
, § 3001(a)(3), added subsec. (k).
1996—Subsec. (a)(2)(A). Pub. L. 104–294
inserted “and” after semicolon at end.
Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 104–214
added subsec. (i).
1994—Subsec. (a)(2)(A). Pub. L. 103–322
, § 60018, amended subpar. (A) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (A) read as follows: “(A) in the case of a killing, the punishment provided in sections
of this title; and”.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103–322
, § 330016(1)(U), substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $250,000” in concluding provisions.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 103–322
, § 330016(1)(O), substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $25,000” in concluding provisions.
1988—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 100–690
, § 7029(c), substituted “threatens, or corruptly persuades” for “or threatens”.
Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 100–690
, § 7029(a), added subsec. (h).
1986—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 99–646
, § 61(2), (3), added subsec. (a) and redesignated former subsec. (a) as (b).
Subsecs. (b) to (g). Pub. L. 99–646
, § 61(1), (3), redesignated former subsec. (a) as (b), inserted “, delay, or prevent”, and redesignated former subsecs. (b) to (f) as (c) to (g), respectively.
Change of Name
Words “magistrate judge” and “United States magistrate judge” substituted for “magistrate” and “United States magistrate”, respectively, in subsec. (f)(1) pursuant to section 321 ofPub. L. 101–650
, set out as a note under section
, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.
Effective Date of 1996 Amendment
Amendment by Pub. L. 104–294
effective Sept. 13, 1994, see section 604(d) ofPub. L. 104–294
, set out as a note under section
of this title.
Section 9 ofPub. L. 97–291
“(a) Except as provided in subsection (b), this Act and the amendments made by this Act [enacting this section and sections
3580 of this title, amending sections
of this title and Rule 32 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, and enacting provisions set out as notes under this section and sections
3579 of this title] shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 12, 1982].
“(b)(1) The amendment made by section 2 of this Act [enacting provisions set out as a note under this section] shall apply to presentence reports ordered to be made on or after March 1, 1983.
“(2) The amendments made by section 5 of this Act [enacting sections
3580 of this title] shall apply with respect to offenses occurring on or after January 1, 1983.”
Congressional Findings and Declaration of Purposes
Section 2 ofPub. L. 97–291
“(a) The Congress finds and declares that:
“(1) Without the cooperation of victims and witnesses, the criminal justice system would cease to function; yet with few exceptions these individuals are either ignored by the criminal justice system or simply used as tools to identify and punish offenders.
“(2) All too often the victim of a serious crime is forced to suffer physical, psychological, or financial hardship first as a result of the criminal act and then as a result of contact with a criminal justice system unresponsive to the real needs of such victim.
“(3) Although the majority of serious crimes falls under the jurisdiction of State and local law enforcement agencies, the Federal Government, and in particular the Attorney General, has an important leadership role to assume in ensuring that victims of crime, whether at the Federal, State, or local level, are given proper treatment by agencies administering the criminal justice system.
“(4) Under current law, law enforcement agencies must have cooperation from a victim of crime and yet neither the agencies nor the legal system can offer adequate protection or assistance when the victim, as a result of such cooperation, is threatened or intimidated.
“(5) While the defendant is provided with counsel who can explain both the criminal justice process and the rights of the defendant, the victim or witness has no counterpart and is usually not even notified when the defendant is released on bail, the case is dismissed, a plea to a lesser charge is accepted, or a court date is changed.
“(6) The victim and witness who cooperate with the prosecutor often find that the transportation, parking facilities, and child care services at the court are unsatisfactory and they must often share the pretrial waiting room with the defendant or his family and friends.
“(7) The victim may lose valuable property to a criminal only to lose it again for long periods of time to Federal law enforcement officials, until the trial and sometimes and [sic] appeals are over; many times that property is damaged or lost, which is particularly stressful for the elderly or poor.
“(b) The Congress declares that the purposes of this Act [see Short Title of 1982 Amendment note set out under section
of this title] are—
“(1) to enhance and protect the necessary role of crime victims and witnesses in the criminal justice process;
“(2) to ensure that the Federal Government does all that is possible within limits of available resources to assist victims and witnesses of crime without infringing on the constitutional rights of the defendant; and
“(3) to provide a model for legislation for State and local governments.”
Federal Guidelines for Treatment of Crime Victims and Witnesses in the Criminal Justice System
Section 6 ofPub. L. 97–291
, as amended by Pub. L. 98–473
, title II, § 1408(b),Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 2177
, provided that:
“(a) Within two hundred and seventy days after the date of enactment of this Act [Oct. 12, 1982], the Attorney General shall develop and implement guidelines for the Department of Justice consistent with the purposes of this Act [see Short Title of 1982 Amendment note set out under section
of this title]. In preparing the guidelines the Attorney General shall consider the following objectives:
“(1) Services to victims of crime.—Law enforcement personnel should ensure that victims routinely receive emergency social and medical services as soon as possible and are given information on the following—
“(A) availability of crime victim compensation (where applicable);
“(B) community-based victim treatment programs;
“(C) the role of the victim in the criminal justice process, including what they can expect from the system as well as what the system expects from them; and
“(D) stages in the criminal justice process of significance to a crime victim, and the manner in which information about such stages can be obtained.
“(2) Notification of availability of protection.—A victim or witness should routinely receive information on steps that law enforcement officers and attorneys for the Government can take to protect victims and witnesses from intimidation.
“(3) Scheduling changes.—All victims and witnesses who have been scheduled to attend criminal justice proceedings should either be notified as soon as possible of any scheduling changes which will affect their appearances or have available a system for alerting witnesses promptly by telephone or otherwise.
“(4) Prompt notification to victims of serious crimes.—Victims, witnesses, relatives of those victims and witnesses who are minors, and relatives of homicide victims should, if such persons provide the appropriate official with a current address and telephone number, receive prompt advance notification, if possible, of—
“(A) the arrest of an accused;
“(B) the initial appearance of an accused before a judicial officer;
“(C) the release of the accused pending judicial proceedings; and
“(D) proceedings in the prosecution and punishment of the accused (including entry of a plea of guilty, trial, sentencing, and, where a term of imprisonment is imposed, a hearing to determine a parole release date and the release of the accused from such imprisonment).
“(5) Consultation with victim.—The victim of a serious crime, or in the case of a minor child or a homicide, the family of the victim, should be consulted by the attorney for the Government in order to obtain the views of the victim or family about the disposition of any Federal criminal case brought as a result of such crime, including the views of the victim or family about—
“(B) release of the accused pending judicial proceedings;
“(C) plea negotiations; and
“(D) pretrial diversion program.
“(6) Separate waiting area.—Victims and other prosecution witnesses should be provided prior to court appearance a waiting area that is separate from all other witnesses.
“(7) Property return.—Law enforcement agencies and prosecutor should promptly return victim’s property held for evidentiary purposes unless there is a compelling law enforcement reason for retaining it.
“(8) Notification to employer.—A victim or witness who so requests should be assisted by law enforcement agencies and attorneys for the Government in informing employers that the need for victim and witness cooperation in the prosecution of the case may necessitate absence of that victim or witness from work. A victim or witness who, as a direct result of a crime or of cooperation with law enforcement agencies or attorneys for the Government, is subjected to serious financial strain, should be assisted by such agencies and attorneys in explaining to creditors the reason for such serious financial strain.
“(9) Training by federal law enforcement training facilities.—Victim assistance education and training should be offered to persons taking courses at Federal law enforcement training facilities and attorneys for the Government so that victims may be promptly, properly, and completely assisted.
“(10) General victim assistance.—The guidelines should also ensure that any other important assistance to victims and witnesses, such as the adoption of transportation, parking, and translator services for victims in court be provided.
“(b) Nothing in this title shall be construed as creating a cause of action against the United States.
“(c) The Attorney General shall assure that all Federal law enforcement agencies outside of the Department of Justice adopt guidelines consistent with subsection (a) of this section.”
[Amendment of section 6 ofPub. L. 97–291
by Pub. L. 98–473
, set out above, effective 30 days after Oct. 12, 1984, see section 1409(a) ofPub. L. 98–473
, set out as an Effective Date note under section
, The Public Health and Welfare.]