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Melissa Hinton

CJUS 2050
9.3 Critical Thinking
What was the Courts holding in Payne v. Tennessee? Do you believe they reached the correct
conclusion regarding the admissibility of victim impact statements? Explain.
In the case of Payne v. Tennessee the court seemed to have gone against the Supreme Court ruling that
emotional testimonies by the plaintiffs were inadmissible in courts. I think there are some negative and
positive aspects about these types of testimonies. On one had the jurors can see what an impact that
the loss of the victim has on the family. However, if theres a case where theres a fine line of 2nd degree
murder versus 1st degree murder these types of testimonies have a massive impact on the jurors
decisions on what sentence to recommend. A 2nd degree murder sentence has the chance of receiving a
shorter sentence or a chance of parole. Whereas a 1st degree murder sentence offers life in prison or
the death penalty. Its hard to make a decision on whether or not I personally would like to see
emotional testimonies inadmissible. Honestly, I think if I were an attorney it would depend on the case,
on the evidence, on the witnesses, etc.