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26 QLR 1069 (2007-2008)
Victim Impact Videos: The New-Wave of Evidence in Capital Sentencing Hearings

handle is hein.journals/qlr26 and id is 1079 raw text is: Note

Picture this: During the sentencing phase of a capital murder trial a
large television is rolled out in front of the jury box and twelve sets of
eyes focus for almost fourteen minutes on the contents of the video
playing on the screen.'    The jury watches approximately 160
photographs rhythmically fade in and out.2 These are photographs of the
murder victim's life-images of him as a toddler with his family, school
pictures, photographs of him with his wife and two sons, pictures of his
sons' growth from infancy to adulthood, and images depicting family
events such as Thanksgiving dinner.3 Throughout, the victim's brother
narrates, tearfully, what each of these photographs contains and how
each represents the value of his brother's lost life.4
Alternatively, picture this: Following the emotional testimony of
the victim's mother, the prosecution focuses the jury's attention on a
four-and-one-half minute DVD containing images of the victim alone,
and with her children and other members of her family.5 The DVD is set
to contemporary music that echoes through the courtroom.6
Further, imagine these videos being presented to the jurors as they
are asked to make a most difficult decision: whether the victim's killer-
1. This description comes from the Arkansas Supreme Court case Hicks v. State, 940
S.W.2d 855, 857 (Ark. 1997) (Brown, J., concurring).
2.  Id.
3.  Id.
4.  Id. at 855, 857.
5. State v. Leon, 132 P.3d 462, 464 (Idaho Ct. App. 2006).
6.  Id.

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