Golden Gate University Law Review


In Kenna v. United States District Court, the Ninth Circuit held that under the Crime Victim's Rights Act ("CYRA"), a crime victim's right to be "reasonably heard" during sentencing was not limited to written impact statements, but included the right to allocute at any public proceeding. This was an issue of first impression in the Ninth Circuit. "No court of appeals had addressed the scope of this particular CVRA right." Two district courts had considered this issue and had reached contrary decisions. The Ninth Circuit agreed with the United States District Court for the District of Utah that a plausible reading of the CYRA allowed for speaking in court, and upon analysis of the legislative history, concluded that "victims now have an indefeasible right to speak."

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