Do you think that victim impact statements influence a judge in the sentence he or she will impose?
The victim of a crime has the right to address the court prior to the imposition of a sentence. This is known as a victim impact statement and occurs after a finding or plea of guilty and prior to sentencing. Answer the following:
- Do you think that victim impact statements influence a judge in the sentence he or she will impose? Why or why not?
- If you were the victim of a crime, what would be the top 3 things you would want the judge to know about how the victimization impacted you?
- Should victim impact statements be removed from the sentencing phase? Why or why not?
- Are victim impact statements prejudicial against the defendant? If so, how does this affect the appellate process?