What Is the Relevance of the Victim Impact Evidence ?

In Burns v. State, 699 So. 2d 646, 653 (Fla. 1997), the court rejected the argument that victim impact evidence is irrelevant under Florida's sentencing statute because it does not go to any aggravator or to rebut any mitigator. See also Bonifay v. State, 680 So. 2d 413, 419 (Fla. 1996); Windom v. State, 656 So. 2d 432, 439 (Fla. 1995). In Payne v. Tennessee, 501 U.S. 808, 823, 115 L. Ed. 2d 720, 111 S. Ct. 2597 (1991), the United States Supreme Court expressly rejected the argument that admitting such evidence violates equal protection, finding that victim impact evidence is not offered to encourage a comparison of victims but to "show instead each victim's 'uniqueness as an individual human being,' whatever the jury might think the loss to the community resulting from his death might be."