The Iowa Senate has voted to ensure victims who make “impact statements” during sentencing hearings do not have to withstand questioning. It’s not common practice now, but the law does not forbid cross-examination by thedefense lawyer. Senator Robert Dvorsky of Iowa City says victims shouldn’tbe subjected to questions during the sentencing phase of the trial, afterthe criminal’s been convicted. The proposal was attached to a bill that wasdrafted in response to a case in Iowa City where a man accused of murderingtwo women and burning their bodies asked to leave the courtroom and was notpresent when family members of the women made impact statements just priorto Jonathan Memmer’s sentencing.
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