Emotional disqualification?

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by ErikViking, May 9, 2006.

  1. ErikViking
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    ErikViking VIP Member

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    In America, does the victims families play a part in the parol-stuff? Can they have a say to make an impact of the parol board? (My freind said so) and I argued that they should have been disqualified as they can't have an objective point of view. My friend ment that it was brilliant in that the criminal first got the minimum punishment by law and then had to face a sort of "controlled revenge" of the family he had robbed of a loved one. And (although I didn't admit it then) that makes some sense really. So to get the perspective from those who knows better I take the question here:

    Is my freind correct - does it work this way?
    (If it is, does it apply to other crimes as well?)

    The most negative effects?
    (Hard to get a closure in the grief for the victims family, absurd long time in jail or things like that)?

    The most positive effects?
    (Maybe criminals subjected to this are less prone to commit crime again, due to reflection on the suffering they have caused?)

    And please do forgive me for the bad terminology-english.
     
  2. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    I may be reading this wrong, but I'll try to answer anyways. When a defendent has been already been found GUILTY, but before sentencing, the family of the victims may be allowed to deliver a statement of the impact of the crime. For instance children may be allowed to describe their lives before and after the crime and the implications of the crime on their entire families.
     
  3. ErikViking
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    ErikViking VIP Member

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    Oaky... that I didn't know of. (Either) Okay and where does this information go? Is it the jury or the judge who decide what length the sentence is going to be? (All this confusion is because of spectacular Hollywood movies, I think my perception of Amercian justice system has been totally screwed up - sorry if you have to educate me here).

    But how about when the sentence is served up to a certain time and the criminal could be released (Parol?)
     
  4. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    The family of victim or victim themselves may appear before parole board and be heard.

    As for 'impact statements' prior to sentencing, those are made in open court and the judge may or may not, depending on applicable law and his/her own temperment, consider the statements in sentencing.
     
  5. ErikViking
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    ErikViking VIP Member

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    Okay, thanks!
     
  6. Eightball
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    Eightball Senior Member

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    Allowing the affected family or persons of the convicted perpetrator to voice their thoughts and feeling about the crime and it's impact on them seems as though it would help in the "closure" process of the victim and victim's families.

    Also this phase of sentencing does bring more reality to the magnitude of the criminal offense against humanity. The more reality projected, the more objective the sentencing will be, in my opinion.

    It is easy to become detached from the actual trauma that victims undergo. If the Judge has authority to alter, or ammend sentencing, then this process makes sense.

    Hopefully, the judge is attentive to this part of the process, and sentences accordingly.
     
  7. ErikViking
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    ErikViking VIP Member

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    Okay... that makes sense. But after lets say 20 years, when like grandchildren appear in front of the parol board to express their grief? Are the relatives emotions considered less and less important as time goes by?
     
  8. Eightball
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    Eightball Senior Member

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    Good question in my opinion.

    I suppose it would depend on how close a relationship the grand kids have to the victims....

    If this was and still is a close family, where grand kids are still very much bonded and close to the victims, then possibly the grand kids do have a sort of "stake" or "part" in supporting the original victim's desires.

    Not attempting to get religious here, but the bible mentions how generationally, disfunction can keep on being passed on. In fact, secularly, it's a "given" too, that unresolved traumas seem to haunt one generation after another in a family. If grand kids can be part of the "loop" so to speak, in bringing closure and support in the family, it might be healthy and healing.
    ....
    My parents came from a generation where it wasn't right, or vogue to be transparent, in facing personal issues. It was vogue to keep things to one's self and tough it out so-to-speak.
    ....
    I think a lot of good mental, emotional, and spiritual health can come out of a family hanging together and battling a "foe" of sorts. If that means a next generation coming to a parole hearing and stating the perpetrator's impact on their parents/grandparent's lives......I can see no negatives.

    Unresolved hurts, and traumas become less-so when they are shared with others.
    .....
    Boy, I hope I haven't gotten off-track here.
    ...
    If a next generation sees and is affected by the damage of a crime against a loved one, then the crime/perpatrator, has also affected that next generation too. They should have liberty to speak at the parole hearing too.
    ........
     
  9. ErikViking
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    ErikViking VIP Member

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    Actually this was quite interesting. Even if it is hard, I think the human aspect, getting the criminal to too see what he/she has done on a personal level sometimes is better than the actual punishment.
     
  10. Eightball
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    Eightball Senior Member

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    Yes, if the testimony of the relatives impacts the criminal in a way that evokes a change of heart or a contrite state of being, that would be good. Still there needs to be evidences that prove that there is constructive/good change in the criminal as a result.

    It doesn't negate the criminal act that brought all this about, as we all must face the consequences of our deeds.

    I'm for positive reconstruction for all folks......be it victims or the perpetrators. I'm also for perpetrators doing all they can to make up or pay-back in some way what they have wrought on others.
    .....
     

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