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NCJ Number: 171056 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Effects of Victim Impact Statements on Sentencing Decisions: A Test in an Urban Setting (From Victims of Crime and the Victimization Process, P 31-47, 1997, Marilyn McShane and Frank P. Williams, III, eds. - See NCJ-171054)
Author(s): R C Davis; B E Smith
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: Garland Publishing, Inc.
New York, NY 10003-3304
National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 7-0483-0-NY-IJ
Sale Source: Garland Publishing, Inc.
19 Union Square
West Floor 8
New York, NY 10003-3304
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Data from Bronx County (N.Y.) were used in an experimental study to determine whether victim impact statements have resulted in sentences more congruent with the harm done to victims and/or in sentences that are generally harmful on convicted defendants.
Abstract: The research focused on 293 victims of robbery, nonsexual assault, and burglary who went through the intake procedure in the Bronx court between July 1988 and April 1989. The victims were randomly assigned to three groups: (1) those who were interviewed and for whom a victim impact statement was written and distributed to the prosecutor, the defense attorney, and the judge; (2) those who were interviewed but for whom no statement was written; and (3) those for whom only the name and address were recorded. Results revealed that the statements did not result in harsher sentences. In addition, the statements did not produce sentencing decisions that reflected more clearly the effects of crime on victims. Findings indicated that victim impact statements neither increased officials' consideration of harm to victims nor resulted in generally harsher sentencing decisions. Further research is recommended. Footnotes, tables, 2 case citations, and 22 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Court procedures
Index Term(s): New York; Sentencing factors; Victim impact statements
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS. Reprinted from Justice Quarterly, V 11, N 3 (September 1994), P 453-469
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