A bill that’d force criminals to hear from those victimized by their crimes has cleared the Iowa House. The bill comes after an Iowa City case in which a man convicted of brutally murdering two women left the courtroom before the victim impact statements were made at his sentencing hearing. Representative Mary Mascher of Iowa City says Jonathan Memmer’s exit from the courtroom stunned the families. She says there was outrage that a murderer didn’t have to listen to the statements of family members. Mascher says the statements are part of the family’s grieving process.Representative Vicki Lensing of Iowa City, a funeral home owner, says confronting the criminal can bring relief to some victims. She says death is difficult to accept under the best of circumstances, and this can help families deal with it.The bill is expected to come before the Iowa Senate soon.
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