Source: (2010) Thesis submitted for the degree of Master of Arts in Applied Social Psychology. Loyola University Chicago.

This research proposal is aimed at understanding the gap in justice between Caucasian victims and African American victims. The literature on Victim Impact Statements (VIS) provided in the penalty/sentencing phases in trials may provide some solutions to level the playing field. VIS serves as a voice for the victims or crime, and helps the jurors to see the victim as human being rather than a faceless victim. Studies have shown that the greater harm caused is related to greater blameworthiness of defendant (Feigenson, Park, & Salovey, 1997). Moreover, this research assesses whether the public supports restorative sentencing options for convicted offenders of burglary and aggravated battery, and whether this support generalizes to offenders who victimize African-American as well as Caucasian individuals. (Excerpt).