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The Scope Of The Eighth Amendment Does Not Include A Per Se Bar To The Use Of Victim Impact Evidence In The Sentencing Phase Of A Capital Trial., Jimmie O. Clements Jr.
St. Mary's Law Journal
In Payne v. Tennessee, the United States Supreme Court held the scope of the Eighth Amendment does not include a per se bar to the use of victim impact evidence in the sentencing phase of a capital trial. As a result of Payne, the realm of information admissible during the sentencing phase of a capital trial now includes victim impact evidence. The use of victim impact evidence improperly diverts the sentencer’s attention away from the defendant’s moral blameworthiness to the victim’s character and reputation. Although advocates of victim’s rights may see this decision as a victory, the reasoning of the …