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CRIMINAL PRACTICE the arizona victim’s Bill of Rights and the Eighth Amendment do not allow the husband of a murdered woman to include in his Victim Impact Statement a recommendation that the killer’s life be spared in favor of life in prison, the Arizona Supreme Court said on May 19. Lynn v. Reinstein, No. CV-02-0435-PR. Richard Glassel was convicted of first-degree murder for the killing of Nila Lynn. The state sought the death penalty. Duane Lynn, Nila’s husband of almost 50 years, told the trial court that he intended to deliver a Victim Impact Statement detailing the nature of his loss, which the court allowed. But the state objected when he added that he intended to plea for leniency in the sentencing of Glassel. Observing that most states do not allow surviving relatives to make sentencing recommendations in capital cases, the Arizona Supreme Court held that the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution precluded Lynn from making a statement against capital punishment of Nila’s killer. Victims’ opinions on capital sentencing are not considered relevant and their sentencing recommendations, whether supporting enhancement or leniency, are not permitted, the court held.

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