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Degrees of Emotion: Judicial Responses to Victim Impact Statements

Degrees of Emotion: Judicial Responses to Victim Impact Statements Emotional standards and hierarchies in the courtroom may affect judicial reactions to victim impact statements. Based on judicial conversations and courtroom observations in two judicial districts in Minnesota, we suggest that judges contrast emotion with reason in order to maintain control of their courtrooms; when faced with emotional expressions in victim impact statements, judges appreciate expressions of compassion and tolerate expressions of grief but are uncomfortable with expressions of anger. These judicial responses to emotional expression, however, must be contextualized; for example, the judges we spoke with often articulated different reactions to impact statements given by victims of sexual assault, those who are strangers to the perpetrator, and impact statements given by victims of domestic violence, those who are in a relationship with the perpetrator. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png "Law, Culture and the Humanities" SAGE

Degrees of Emotion: Judicial Responses to Victim Impact Statements

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References (20)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2010
ISSN
1743-8721
eISSN
1743-9752
DOI
10.1177/1743872109349104
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Emotional standards and hierarchies in the courtroom may affect judicial reactions to victim impact statements. Based on judicial conversations and courtroom observations in two judicial districts in Minnesota, we suggest that judges contrast emotion with reason in order to maintain control of their courtrooms; when faced with emotional expressions in victim impact statements, judges appreciate expressions of compassion and tolerate expressions of grief but are uncomfortable with expressions of anger. These judicial responses to emotional expression, however, must be contextualized; for example, the judges we spoke with often articulated different reactions to impact statements given by victims of sexual assault, those who are strangers to the perpetrator, and impact statements given by victims of domestic violence, those who are in a relationship with the perpetrator.

Journal

"Law, Culture and the Humanities"SAGE

Published: Feb 1, 2010

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