joe dokes said:
The fact that everyone thinks I'm an asshole (no one gives a statement because the only the only impact is "I'm glad he got killed") shouldn't mean my assailant gets a lower sentence for the same crime committed against John Q. Not-Asshole. YMMV.
Also, for lurkers, usually most of the salient facts in a Victim Impact Statement that *would* affect sentencing have already been made in trial. This holds true for offense-specific details (e.g., if the asshole-victim was an asshole because they were picking a fight with the defendant, etc.) It's also true for general victim specific facts: if the victim was a little girl in a wheel chair, the judge knows that by the end of trial as well.
Also, for lurkers, usually sentencing is deferred for the defense to present a case for sentencing and for the prosecution to organize their case for sentencing. Arguments are made to the judge for higher/lower sentences. The judge can usually apply some discretion in sentencing but is often bound by minimums and always bound by maximums. (For example, the laws of a state may specify for a certain crime the defendant *must* be sentenced between 3 and 10 years, or 0-10, within which the judge has discretion.) Many (most?) states also employ a semi-sophisticated "points" based system that further defines the range a judge must (or sometimes strongly suggests) sentence a convicted defendant to.
Here, Garsh had no discretion - M1 in MA is mandatory life imprisonment. So there's no point in the defense arguing anything about AH's character.