Source: (2008) 97 California Law Review (forthcoming)
“In this article, I contend that victim impact statements move the juvenile court too far away
from its original mission and ignore the childâ€™s often diminished culpability in delinquent behavior.
I also argue that victim impact statements delivered in the highly charged environment of the
courtroom are unlikely to achieve the satisfaction and catharsis victims seek after crime. To better
serve the needs of the victim and the offender, I propose that victim impact statements be excluded
from the juvenile disposition hearing and incorporated into the childâ€™s long-term treatment plan.
Interactive victim awareness programs, such as victim-offender mediation and victim impact panels
that take place after disposition, allow victims to express pain and fear to the offender, foster greater
empathy and remorse from the child, and encourage forgiveness and reconciliation by the victim.
Delaying victim impact statements until after the childâ€™s disposition also preserves the childâ€™s due
process rights at sentencing and allows the court to focus on the childâ€™s need for rehabilitation.” (Excerpt from Author)
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