Victims in the sentencing process: South Australia's judges and magistrates give their verdict

Author(s)O'Connell, Michael
Title Victims in the sentencing process: South Australia's judges and magistrates give their verdict
Source International Perspectives in Victimology, Vol 4, No 1 March 2009, pp50-57
Date 2009
Document type Journal article
Coverage South Australia
Summary This article reports on survey findings conducted with judicial officers in South Australia regarding their experiences with victim impact statements (VIS). One result was that few victims are taking up the opportunity of submitting a VIS. It was reported that VIS had no significant effect on delaying the sentencing process and it was also reported that victims were rarely, if ever, cross examined regarding their VIS. Another significant finding was that victims in general have used restraint and have not used the VIS as a means to appeal for harsher sentences but more often to use the VIS to request compensation from the offender. In the main judges and magistrates find VIS useful. The author concludes by suggesting that more needs to be done before the potential of VIS can be fully realised.
Keywords Victim impact statements; sentencing; victim's voice; criminal justice system
Topic Victim impact statements