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No Payne, no gain?: Revisiting victim impact statements after twenty years in effect.

Pitt, Damon
June 4, 2015

Source: (2012) Chapman Law Review. 16(2):475-500.

Part I of this Comment revisits Booth and South Carolina v. Gathers,12
the Supreme Court decisions overruled by Payne, and draws particular
attention to the conflicting philosophies among the Justices over the course
of the three decisions. It focuses on how different Justices frame the issues
surrounding victim impact testimony and the influence of victim impact
testimony on juries. Part I also briefly looks at the rise of victims’ rights as
a socio-political movement, a movement which has often caused intense
discord between state legislatures and courts in the sentencing phases of
capital cases.” This tension seemingly culminated with the Supreme Court
twice ruling against the movement, only to overtum both decisions
shortly thereafter in what is now the law of the land.”
Part II addresses the fallout from the Supreme Court’s about-face in
Payne by surveying the empirical research conducted in the wake of the
Payne decision and examining the competing philosophical concerns in
relation to the statistical findings. This Part also surveys how states that
allow for the death penalty have reacted to Payne, and dwells primarily on
the effects of victim impact statements (“VIS”) on the rates of death
sentences handed down in capital cases. (excerpt)


AbstractCourtsPost-Conflict ReconciliationPrisonsRJ in SchoolsRJ OfficeStatutes and LegislationVictim Support
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