1. Would your views on victim impact statements be different if the U.S. Supreme Court had chosen a less emotional case to consider in deciding their constitutionality? Overall, do you think victim impact statements correctly allow victims a voice in the process or just add unnecessary emotionalism?
2. Discuss the prior relationships between defendants and victims and why this is important in domestic violence cases.
1. In what ways are victims and defendants similar? In what ways are they different?
Is there any difference in the characteristics of victims and defendants when the victim is male as opposed to when the victim is female?
2. Many discussions of crime suggest that smart defendants are able to beat the rap by pleading insanity, slanting their testimony at the urging of the defense counsel, and exploiting legal loopholes such as the exclusionary rule (see Chapter 11). Given the profile of the typical criminal defendant, how realistic are these assumptions of a smart crook?
To some, the victims’ rights movement is more an exercise in symbolic politics than a substantive program. Thus, some critics argue that many of these programs are really more interested in severe punishment of the defendant than in helping victims adjust socially, economically, or psychologically to their new role as victim.
Which dimensions of helping victims reflect the crime control model?
Which dimensions reflect the due process model?
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