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Do you think relatives of crime victims should have a say in what punishment is meted out in court to those found guilty of the crime?

26 Comments
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26 Comments
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No, because it would be about revenge and not justice.

I can understand it though. If I was a relative, I KNOW I would want a say in sentencing and I would push for the maximum.

13 ( +19 / -6 )

No. But victims and their families should have a chance to express their feelings in the courts for serious crimes like rape, and murder.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

He was drunk! He didn't know what he was doing! Please give him a break!

Ridiculous!

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Not sure how you could say yes. The purpose of the legal system is justice, not revenge. The family can make statements but that should be it.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

The purpose of the legal system is justice AND punishment. People seem to forget that.

The victim should be heard but not have the final say on matters.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Agree with pretty much everyone above. There are things such as Victim Impact Statements which enable victims and their families to be heard by the accused, and these are often enough (for some people) to move forward in grieving and/or healing. Some statements are forgiving, some are extremely vengeful, yet all are emotional and it just proves that those involved directly should not have any final word on sentencing at all.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Absolutely no. In addition to its inherent immorality, this is precisely why capital punishment should be abolished from the Japanese criminal justice system.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

The important part is what is the desired effect of punishment in society as a whole. The victims opinions and feelings should not be ignored, but there are many other productive ways to deal with them than giving them a voice in how the criminals are punished. As long as there is an adequate degree of correlation between the crime and the sentence trying to please the victims should not be such a big priority.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

No, they are not entitled to do. If they want something else they , like everyone else, have to become candidates and elected parliamentarians or judges and then can try to find a majority for their whatever differing views or opinions.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Nope. Like Wallace said, they should be able to express their feelings and what they're going through.

But as for having a saying in punishment, they'll be out for blood.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Victims/families should be able to address the court, however judgment and sentencing, must be the sole opinion or conclusion of the learned Judge untarnished by reprisal, retribution, vengeance to suggest a punishment

1 ( +3 / -2 )

No, you want justice not a revenge court

4 ( +5 / -1 )

No. Punishment should not be mixed up with revenge or extraneous interference by relations.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Families of victims should be allowed to speak in court cases, and in such cases if juries or even just the judge gives harsher punishments after hearing the pain and grief of relatives, then so be it. And of course, victims (survived) should be allowed to voice their opinions on punishments before and after sentencing, but I don't think they should be allowed to participate in negotiating the punishment being meted out, because as one poster put it very well, it would be about revenge, not justice.

That said, when you see some judges giving two-year sentences to some murderers perhaps allowing victims some sway might not be a bad thing. Heck, even suspended sentences people are always getting might get modified.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

It's not as though the average person is an expert in crime, mental health, or drug addiction. Not to mention discrimination. Known or unknown. Speak, Mmmmm maybe, but justice isn't about revenge!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have a shared feeling about that.

Depends on the impact of the deed.

It is so easy to give a light sentence by judge since they are not concerned by the deed that there going to be vested interests not to risk anything for the magistrates. That is what is happening in France.

And it shall not be about a revenge of course.

Some persons concerned by the consequences on the victim are very able to judge by themselves in my opinion on what should be fair, whether it is harsh or light sentence.

My opinion is that justice seems nowadays to be very lenient on hard crimes and for repeated offenses.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Perhaps if the victim was able to critic the verdict in some way before it being final. Is it bad if the victim "influenced" the judges decision in some way?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How about the ability of the victim's side to ask to allow/grant a measure of lenience?

There could be a button, with a light under the judge's desk to let him know that the family is agreeable or forgiving.

By the same token, no push of the button would equal, "Let the law take its course".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It depends on what "have a say" means.

Should they be given any actual authority to hand down a sentence, or play any sort of official role in handing one down? No. That's the court's role.

But if "have a say" means being given time & opportunity to speak in court, make a victims' impact statement, and urge the judge to impose this or that sentence? Absolutely. Of course they should, and honestly, I don't know why anyone would want to shut them out of that.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

USNinJapan2May 29  10:33 am JST

Absolutely no. In addition to its inherent immorality, this is precisely why capital punishment should be abolished from the Japanese criminal justice system.

Thank you for your service, but I respectfully disagree.

A human being's life has the highest sanctity and value in this world.

If someone commits premeditated murder, or murder during the commission of another crime, their penalty should be commensurate with the sanctity and value of the life they chose to take.

Fully commensurate.

I don't think anyone's saying to execute them on the spot, as soon as a guilty verdict is rendered.

Opportunity for appeal should be granted, of course. Once that's exhausted, the murderer should be given time & opportunity to make their peace with God, if they so choose.

It's not about bloodlust or revenge. It's about justice. Any lesser penalty for premeditated or aggravated murder basically sends the message that the victim's life wasn't really worth it -- that we don't really value the sanctity and dignity of human life as much as we righteously claim in opposing capital punishment.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

A human being's life has the highest sanctity and value in this world.

If someone commits premeditated murder, or murder during the commission of another crime, their penalty should be commensurate with the sanctity and value of the life they chose to take.

Rotting in prison for 70 years with no internet access is not a life.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

. NO. Justice is to relieve the citizen of the burden of Punishment.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Based: Wrong, If a person is sentence to death, that person should be taken from the dock to the back and put to death within minutes. All healthy organs and any body parts removed that can be used.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Based: Wrong, If a person is sentence to death, that person should be taken from the dock to the back and put to death within minutes. All healthy organs and any body parts removed that can be used.

Sounds like the Chinese system but for those concerned about justice bumping off the criminal provides no means to correct mistakes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Definitely not. Victims are entitled to reasonable compensation, but sentencing is a matter for the courts.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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