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What are some tips for writing a victim impact statement?

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Quick Answer

When writing a victim impact statement, the writer should let the court know how the crime affected his family, states the National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children. If the writer is the family member of someone who died as the result of the crime, she should include memories about the victim in the statement. The writer should let the court know how the crime could have a future effect on the family.

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Full Answer

During the sentencing phase of a criminal conviction, victims of a crime, or his family members if he is deceased, are allowed to speak in court to advise the court how the crimes have affected them, says the National Center for Victims of Crime. All states allow for victim statements before the defendant is sentenced.

Victim statements include a description of the emotional, financial, physical and medical consequences of a crime. They allow victims to be heard in order to impact the judge or board responsible for making the decisions about the defendants' sentencing. Sometimes, victim statements are head before a parole board, explains the National Center for Victims of Crime.

Victim impact statements not only influence the incarceration or release of a defendant convicted of a crime, but they also can be cathartic to the victim. This is because victims don't generally have a chance to tell their side of the story, and the ability to read a statement in open court can be an important part in the process of healing, reports the National Center for Victims of Crime.

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