Statement on Signing the Victim Rights Clarification Act of 1997
Today I have signed into law H.R. 924, the "Victim Rights Clarification Act of 1997," to ensure that victims of crime and their families will not be prevented from attending a criminal trial in Federal court simply because they intend to exercise their right to give a statement during a sentencing hearing, once guilt has been decided. I commend the Congress for responding to the initiative led by crime victims and their families, and by a bipartisan group of State attorneys general. As I have said before, when someone is a victim, he or she should be at the center of the criminal justice process, not on the outside looking in. The Act, of course, does not limit the courts' authority and obligation to protect the defendant's right to a fair trial under the due process clause.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
The White House, March 19, 1997.
NOTE: H.R. 924, approved March 19, was assigned Public Law No. 105-6. This statement was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on March 20.
William J. Clinton, Statement on Signing the Victim Rights Clarification Act of 1997 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/224255