Defendants and Victims


Defendants and Victims

A crime resulting in the death of or severe injury to the victim can have a profound impact on a spouse, children, co-workers, brothers and sisters, and the community. Some contend that the criminal justice system focuses too much on the troubled past of the defendant and not the devastating impact on the victim of violent crime.


 Assume you are on a committee that has been asked to evaluate the current rules regarding what information may be presented regarding:

        1) the defendant’s past and,

        2) the impact of the victim’s injuries/death as a result of the crime.

    Evaluate the current rules regarding the admission of prior crimes or bad acts by the defendant as well as how his background/life led him to commit the crime. Evaluate the current rules regarding the admission of prior crimes or bad acts by the victim as well as the limitations on victim impact statements.You may use either the federal court rules or your state’s rules. Provide both the scriptural and scholarly criminal sources you are relying on to form your analysis.

Sample paper

Defendants and Victims

The court’s system in any state or country is not meant to punish those who break the law but rather to maintain harmony as well as implementing the law into the community. On the other hand, in every case presented either in the federal or state law has to have two parties the victim and the defendant. The defendant is the individual accused of breaking the law or rather committing a crime while the victim is the person who is harmed as a result of the crime committed by the defendant.

A defendant past criminal activities is admissible in a new criminal case depending on the crime in which the defendant is now accused to have committed, whether the convict in the ongoing case testified in a past case and the purpose for which the conviction is asked to be admitted (Neubauer, 2015). However, rules on admissible of previous convictions vary from one state to another. In some instances, when the defendant loses a trial, the judge may use the defendant’s past criminal record to enhance his or her sentence.

On the other hand, past criminal record of the victim cannot be used against them considering that this is a new case which should be examined independently. If the victim served his or her sentence and reformed to become upright citizens, past criminal records cannot be used against them considering that this time; they are not on the wrong side of the law. Thus, this case is afresh free from past influence (Bandes, 2016). However, in my opinion, such a law should be changed to review the past criminal record of the victim because in can give a better insight on the victim’s behavior and conduct.


Bandes, S. A. (2016). Share Your Grief But Not your Anger: Victims and the Expression of Emotion in Criminal Justice. Emotional Expression: Philosophical, Psychological, andLegal Perspectives, Cambridge University Press (Joel Smith and Catharine Abell eds.)                    Forthcoming.

Neubauer, D. W. (2015). America’s courts and the criminal justice system. . Cengage Learning.