The right to give a victim impact statement is one of Minnesota’s most important statutory crime victim rights. It represents one of the few times that victims have a voice in the criminal prosecution process and can speak to the impact of the crime. The process for submitting a victim impact statement prior to sentencing varies across the state, and the path that the victim impact statement takes once submitted has implications for the victim.
This presentation will provide an overview of victim impact statements and how they get processed and presented, with an emphasis on the important role of community-based and government-based advocates in educating victims and assisting them with preparing their statements. In addition, this presentation will touch on the ethical issues for prosecutors’ offices that arise with victim impact statements.