Confronting Evil: Victims' Rights in an Age of Terror
56 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2007 Last revised: 30 Apr 2008
This Article examines a unique facet of the victims' rights movement: the use of victim impact evidence in the prosecution of individuals accused of mass killings. The Article provides the first detailed analysis of victim impact evidence employed in the capital trials of those responsible for the bombings in Oklahoma City (168 deaths) and the U.S. Embassy in Kenya (213 deaths), as well as the events of September 11 (almost 3000 deaths), and explores the many difficulties its use presents. These difficulties, the Article argues, warrant attention not only with respect to future U.S. mass killing trials in civilian courts, but also those before Military Commission Tribunals, which contemplate use of VIE. They also should figure in the international arena, where mass killings occur with even greater frequency, and the potent allure of affording victims a direct personal stake in the prosecution of mass killers is now also making itself felt. The Article addresses how, and if, victim-centeredness can be accommodated in the ongoing effort to maintain rule of law values in the prosecution of mass killers.
Keywords: victim impact evidence, September 11, victims' rights, death penalty
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation