Victim participation in sentencing: the problems of incoherence

Author(s)Edwards, Ian
Title Victim participation in sentencing: the problems of incoherence
Source Howard Journal of Criminal Justice (2001) Vol 40, Issue 1, p39-54
Date 2001
Document type Journal article
Summary This article discusses the rationales for victim participation in sentencing including: improving sentencing outcomes; promoting efficiency in the criminal justice system; therapeutic and cathartic benefits for victims; and being a good thing in itself. The author then discusses some of the problems identified in implementing reforms which include the definition of victim, defining the content of the statements presented at sentencing, and preparing and processing the statements. In his concluding remarks the author suggests that reforming sentencing procedures to make them more victim-focused may have political and popular appeal but there needs to be an understanding of the motivations for change and a consideration of the implications of doing so.
Keywords Victim impact statements; sentencing; victim participation
Topic Victim impact statements