Opposing scales of justice: Victims' voices in the sentencing process

Author(s)Katz, Karen Marie
Title Opposing scales of justice: Victims' voices in the sentencing process
Source Canadian Criminal Law Review. Scarborough: Feb 2010. Vol. 14, Iss. 2; pg. 181, 50 pgs
Date 2010
Document type Journal article
Coverage Canada
Summary This article provides a critical in-depth examination of the use of victim impact statements in Canadian sentencing proceedings. Victim impact statements are an entrenched feature of the sentencing process and criminal justice attitudes to their use appears to have become more positive. The aims of the victim impact statements, including increased victim satisfaction with the judicial process, awareness by offenders of the harm they have caused and the provision of a sense of closure to victims, appears to have been met for many victims of crime. Victim impact statements give victims a meaningful voice but do not give victims decision making powers. Areas for future research are identified, including an assessment on how victims feel after submitting a victim impact statement and how offenders are affected by hearing about the impact of their crime from the victim.
Keywords Victim participation; sentencing; rights; victim impact statements.
Topic Victims rights