Booth v. Maryland
Significance, Victim Impact Statements, Further Readings
State of Maryland
According to the Eighth Amendment, the petitioner's rights were violated because the jury was allowed to read a victim impact statement (VIS) during the sentencing phase of the trial. By allowing additional, unrelated information about how the crime impacted the family of the victim, the state had introduced prejudicial, inflammatory information which prompted the jury to impose extraordinarily severe punishment.
Chief Lawyer for Petitioner
George E. Burns, Jr.
Chief Lawyer for Respondent
Charles O. Monk II
Justices for the Court
Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Lewis F. Powell, Jr. (writing for the Court), John Paul Stevens
Sandra Day O'Connor, William H. Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, Byron R. White
Date of Decision
15 June 1987
Presentation of a victim impact statement (VIS) during the sentencing phase of a capital murder trial violated the Eighth Amendment, therefore, the case was remanded back to the lower court.
- Woodson v. North Carolina, 428 U.S. 280 (1976).
- People v. Levitt, 156 Cal. App. 3d 500 (1984).
- Lodowski v. State, 302 MD 691 (1985).
- Reid v. State, 305 ND 9 (1985).
- Payne v. Tennessee, 501 U.S. 808 (1991).
"Testimony on S.J. Res. 44." American Civil Liberties Union, http://www.aclu.org.
"Victim Impact Statements: Key Findings." National Victim Center, http://www.nvc.org.
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