Thus, it is evident that the Crime Victims’ Rights Act is in tandem with the U. Constitution in ensuring the rights of individuals are safeguarded.The victim impact statements (VIS) attempt to meet the concerns, interests and needs of crime victims by providing a detailed account of the impact the crime has had on them. However, there is much controversy surrounding the appropriateness of victim impact statements in the U. Nevertheless, research has demonstrated that the victim impact statements add value during the determination of case and sentencing of the accused. For instance, Ashworth (1993) through his research on a survey carried out American judges argues states that, “some four-fifths stated that a VIS had some effect on the sentence and that what they found most useful was objective information on financial loss, physical harm and psychological effects” (p. Conversely, proponents of the VIS argue that, VIS enable judges and prosecutors experience the actual effect of a crime and thus help them make better rulings that reflect the damage suffered by the victims (“Victim Impact Statements”, 1997).However, opponents of VIS argue that the use of VIS does little to extend the traditional goals and objectives of sentencing such as deterrence, rehabilitation, incapacitation and retribution and thus makes sentencing more of an arbitrary process, which shifts the focus of a case from the accused to the victim. Conversely, they go ahead to argue that VIS creates a class of victims, thus resulting in stiffer penalties for defendants who commit crimes against the. Corrections and Victims Rights.
ACA Code of Ethics. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.aca.org/ACA_Prod_IMIS/ACA_Member/About_Us/Code_of_Ethics/ACA_Member/AboutUs/Code_of_Ethics.aspx?hkey=61577ed2-c0c3-4529-bc01-36a248f79eba
Ashworth, A. (1993). Victim impact statements and sentencing. Criminal Law Review, 498-509.
Cassel, P. (2014). Why crime victims need their own voice in the criminal justice process. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/01/27/why-crime-victims-need-their-own-voice-in-the-criminal-justice-process/
Hinton, M. (1995). Expectations dashed: Victim impact statements and the common law approach to sentencing in South Australia. University of Tasmania Law Review, 81-99.
Resources for Victims & Witnesses. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.bop.gov/resources/victim_resources.jsp
Ruddy, R. The Victim’s Role in the Justice Process.
Victim Impact Statements (n.d.). http://www.johnhoward.ab.ca/pub/C53.htm
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