SAGE Journal Articles
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Abstract: In its 2010 term, the U.S. Supreme Court elaborated on law enforcement procedures in their decision of Michigan v. Bryant (2011) by analyzing the Sixth Amendment’s Confrontation Clause regarding statements obtained by police officers during an initial investigation. The court examined the statement of a mortally wounded victim who, before dying, identified the shooter as well as the location of the shooting. In a 6-2 decision the court held that a statement given to police by a wounded crime victim identifying the person who shot him may be admitted as evidence at the trial if the victim dies before trial and thus does not appear. Because the primary purpose of the interrogation was to enable police to deal with an ongoing emergency, the statements resulting from that interrogation were nontestimonial and could be admitted without violating the Confrontation Clause.
Journal Article 2: Szmania, S. J., & Gracyalny, M. L. (2006). Addressing the court, the offender, and the community: A communication analysis of victim impact statements in a non-capital sentencing hearing. International Review of Victimology, 13, 231–249.
Abstract: This article focuses on forty oral Victim Impact Statements (VIS) presented during the public sentencing hearing of an offender convicted of murdering forty-eight women over the course of twenty years. We argue that the VIS in this case illustrate the increasingly complex and public nature of victim testimony in the formal U.S. criminal justice system. Through the use of grounded theory analysis, we highlight critical issues regarding the communicative function and emotional intensity of victim impact testimony as victims address the court, the offender, and the community through their statements. This case study extends Roberts and Erez’s (2004) communication model of VIS and offers several practice and policy recommendations for the use of VIS in non-capital criminal cases.