The effect of victim impact statements on sentencing patterns and outcomes: The Australian experience

Edna Erez, Leigh Roeger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the debate surrounding victim input into sentencing, the major argument against the use of victim impact statements (VISs) centered on the presumed harshening effect of VISs on sentencing outcomes. An argument in favor of victim impact statements has been that VISs may have a beneficial effect on court dispositions - an increase in restitution and compensation orders. This article examines the validity of these arguments by using three different data bases from South Australia: sentencing trends, court records, and in-depth interviews of members of the legal profession who are involved in the implementation of the VIS. The results do not support either of the arguments relative to sentencing and disposition outcomes. Possible reasons for the results are presented and their implications for the use of VISs are drawn and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-375
Number of pages13
JournalJOURNAL OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

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