Muffled voices. Making way for impact statements in criminal justice system in India

Dube, Dipa (2018) Muffled voices. Making way for impact statements in criminal justice system in India. Rivista di Criminologia, Vittimologia e Sicurezza, XII (1). pp. 26-40. ISSN 1971-033X

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Victim Impact Statement (VIS) is a crucial aspect in the process of dispensation of justice. It reinforces the participatory model of criminal justice system, wherein both the accused and the victim are significant and interwined in justice delivery mechanism. VIS has received little support from pro-accused activists who assert that the acceptance of such statements would make way for emotional blackmail and consequent enhancement of quantum of sentence. The claim has, however, been assailed by victimologists the world over, who have hailed the same as a positive assertion of the rights of the victim in the sentencing process. Simply speaking, a victim impact statement is a written or verbal statement made as part of the judicial legal process, which allows a victim of crime the opportunity to speak during the sentencing of the accused. It offers an opportunity to the victim or his/her family members to elaborate the trauma and hardships faced as a result of the crime committed. The present status of the victim or family, including the inconveniences faced, also become clear to the judge and allows him to make a decision. While VIS has been considered as significant and included as part of the criminal justice process in several nations across the world, India has remained rather unmoved and untouched. Several victimological approaches have been included in recent years in the criminal procedure of the land, yet impact statements seem to have eluded the legislators. This is particularly of significance in light of Indian judgments where the courts have reiterated that punishment must respond to the “society’s cry for justice”.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: victim; impact statement; justice; criminal procedure; offender
Subjects: 300 Scienze sociali
Depositing User: Prof.ssa Raffaella Sette
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2018 14:56
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2018 14:56

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