Greensboro defense attorneys are discussing the importance of victim impact statements in light of recent publicized trials. Current nationally publicized trials have brought up the issue of to what extent victim impact testimony is acceptable. In cases where the victim’s testimony may play a large role in the sentencing of the defendant, North Carolina courts are not opposed to allowing it.
The North Carolina Victims’ Rights Amendment allows the victim the right to be heard at the sentencing of the accused. Therefore, the victim has the right to speak and introduce certain evidence of how the crime impacted them. This may include things such as a description of the injuries they incurred or to what extent they have suffered loss. The victim is not required to give this testimony, but in certain situations it could substantially help the victim’s case at hand. If you are unsure of how a victim’s testimony may impact your case, you should not hesitate to contact a criminal defense attorney.
Another aspect that attorneys are discussing is whether victims of related conduct, but unconvicted conduct should be allowed to testify. The amendment does not expressly give victims of related conduct the right to testify, but one way to incorporate their statement is to call them as a witness. When this is done, though, it allows the defense to cross-examine the witness. Whether a victim of related conduct, who is not the direct victim in the case at hand, has a right to testify has not been specifically decided. Often times, it depends upon the surrounding circumstances of the case.
If you are unsure of whether victim testimony was appropriately applied in your case, please contact a Greensboro criminal defense attorney today at 336-379-0539. The attorneys at Garrett, Walker, Aycoth and Olson know the requirements of the law and also genuinely care about each and every case presented by their clients.