Performing anger to signal injustice: the expression of anger in victim impact statements
Does the expression of anger have any role to play in victim impact statements and if so, what should that role be? Victim impact statements are written or oral statements made by the victim of a crime to jurors or judges as part of court proceedings.1 The statements generally express the impact of the defendant's crime on the victim, or in capital cases, on the victim's family. The use of victim impact statements has become increasingly common in recent years, partly in response to concerns that victims have historically been neglected by the criminal justice system. By being active participants in the legal process, victim impact statements allegedly bring victims closure and a sense that justice has been done.