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The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 4B: Notice to victim of sentencing proceedings; oral or written statements

Section 4B. Before disposition in any case where a defendant has been found guilty of any felony or any crime against the person or crime where physical injury to a person results, excluding any crime for which a sentence of death may be imposed, and which involves an identified victim whose whereabouts are known, the district attorney shall give the victim actual notice of the time and place of sentencing and of the victim's right to make a statement to the court, orally or in writing at the victim's option, as to the impact of the crime and as to a recommended sentence. Before disposition, the court shall allow any victim who elects to make such an oral statement the opportunity to do so in the presence of the defendant. Before disposition, the district attorney shall file any such written statement with the court and shall make it available to the defendant.

If the victim is unable to make an oral or written statement because of his mental, emotional, or physical incapacity or his age, his attorney or a designated family member shall be provided the notice and the opportunity to make a statement prescribed in this paragraph.

Before said disposition the office of the district attorney shall cause to be prepared a written statement as to the impact of the crime on the victim, which shall be filed with the court as part of the presentence report and made available to the defendant. The statement shall include the following: (1) the name of the victim; (2) documentation of the net financial loss, if any, suffered by the victim or a family member as a result of the crime; (3) in cases where the crime has had an impact on the victim's personal welfare or family relationship or has had a psychological impact on the victim or his family, a statement of such impact.

The court shall allow the defendant to have the opportunity to rebut the victim's oral or written statement and the district attorney's written statement if the court decides to rely upon such statements or parts thereof in imposing sentence.

No sentence shall be invalidated because of failure to comply with the provisions of this section. This section shall not be construed to create any cause of action or any right of appeal on behalf of any person.