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Abstract

This article begins by tracing the historical development of victim impact evidence through Supreme Court jurisprudence and state legislation and analyzes their use in the sentencing of phase capital punishment trials. It argues that the Supreme Court's decision in Payne V Tennessee allowing a jury to consider victim impact evidence in capital punishment sentencing is troublesome in light of a capital punishment defendant's constitutional rights, the history of the death penalty and traditional sentencing procedures. It concludes with a proposal for guidelines to regulates the use of such evidence in capital punishment sentencing,

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