Title 12
Criminal Procedure

Chapter 28
Victim’s Rights

R.I. Gen. Laws § 12-28-4

§ 12-28-4. Right to address court prior to sentencing.

(a) Prior to the imposition of sentence upon a defendant who has been adjudicated guilty of a crime in a trial, the victim of the criminal offense shall be afforded the opportunity to address the court regarding the impact which the defendant’s criminal conduct has had upon the victim. The victim shall be permitted to speak prior to counsel for the state and the defendant making their sentencing recommendations to the court and prior to the defendant’s exercise of his or her right to address the court.

(b) For the purposes of this section, “victim” is one who has sustained personal injury or loss of property directly attributable to the felonious conduct of which the defendant has been convicted. In homicide cases, a member of the immediate family of the victim shall be afforded the right created by this section.

(c) “Community impact statement” means a written statement providing information about the financial, emotional and physical effects of a crime on a community. “Community” means a society or body of people living in the same place or neighborhood sharing common interests arising from social, business, religious, governmental, scholastic or recreational associations.

(d) In addition to the right of a victim as identified in subsection (b) of this section, if the crime has an impact on the community where the incident took place, any person, association or other group of persons may file a community impact statement with the court prior to the imposition of sentence on a defendant.

History of Section.
P.L. 1983, ch. 265, § 1; P.L. 1985, ch. 411, § 1; P.L. 1986, ch. 405, § 1; P.L. 1988, ch. 444, § 2; P.L. 2001, ch. 230, § 1; P.L. 2001, ch. 402, § 1.