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National Crime Victim Law Institute

New Post-Conviction Resources Available in NCVLI’s Victim Law Library

May 04, 2020

NCVLI has added two new post-conviction bulletins to the Victim Law Library this month. NCVLI’s Victim Law Bulletins provide an in-depth analysis of topics relating to the assertion and enforcement of rights. Abatement Ab Initio and a Crime Victim’s Right to Restitution provides an important update to a preexisting resource in NCVLI’s Victim Law Library about the legal doctrine of abatement ab initio. Abatement ab initio (meaning “from the beginning”) is a sweeping judicial action that can have a devastating impact on the rights of crime victims. The judicially created common law doctrine applies when a criminal defendant dies pending appeal and operates to extinguish all criminal proceedings initiated against that defendant from indictment through conviction. This Bulletin describes the different approaches federal and state courts are taking with respect to the doctrine, including how state courts are increasingly acknowledging that victims’ rights require them to reject its application outright.addresses the historical uses and purpose of ab initio and concludes that its use is outdated in today’s court system.  Determining the strongest argument for restitution can be complex. For instance, the differences between certain categories of restitution are not always clear in law (e.g., full vs. partial; mandatory vs, discretionary; mandatory consideration vs. mandatory order; the right to restitution vs. the right to receive restitution).

NCVLI’s Law Surveys provide a 50-state (plus Federal and District of Columbia) collection of laws on a victims’ rights topic. The Survey of Select Laws Governing Timelines for Entry of Initail Restitution Order in a Criminal Case focuses on criminal restitution, which is an order directing a convicted offender to provide financial recompense to victims for the consequences of his or her criminal conduct. Restitution serves important purposes for the victim, the offender and society. Indeed, full restitution in the amount of a victim’s losses has been recognized as a critical step in the victim’s recovery. This Survey collects laws governing restitution timelines in criminal cases—specifically, the timelines for entry of initial restitution orders by the court—and is designed to arm those assisting victims with the information they need to ensure victims’ requests for restitution are submitted in a timely manner and addressed by the court as required by law. Find more post-conviction resources in our Victim Law Library.