In this amicus brief, AEquitas, the Women’s Law Project, and 26 additional amici share their expertise in support of a determination that Pennsylvania’s Rape Shield Law does not permit the introduction of evidence of a complainant’s criminal record for prostitution-related offenses. Introducing this evidence would reinforce prejudicial gender and racial biases that would inhibit justice from prevailing and increase the burden of a criminal record on victims of sexual violence and exploitation.Amicus-Curiae-Brief-with-Time-Stamp
On February 2, 2023, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (covering Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi) issued its decision in United States v. Rahimi, 59 F.4th 163 (5th Cir. 2023). The Court ruled that 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8), which prohibits gun possession by people who are subject to domestic violence restraining orders, is unconstitutional under the Second Amendment. On June 30, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the government’s petition for a writ of certiorari in the case. If upheld, Rahimi will have a significant impact on the assignment and enforcement of domestic violence protection orders across the country.
On August 21, 2023, AEquitas submitted an amicus brief in support of the U.S. government’s appeal of the Fifth Circuit’s decision. The brief underscores the dangers posed by domestic violence offenders, particularly those who have access to firearms; discusses the importance of civil protection order processes to keep victims safe and reduce opportunities for witness intimidation while a criminal prosecution is pending; supports the government’s arguments regarding the ample historical precedent for laws like §922(g)(8); and highlights other constitutional rights that are forfeited in the context of an individual’s wrongdoing.Agriculture’s Growing Problem
This Guide discusses the essential capabilities necessary for a prosecutor’s office to effectively prevent and respond to crimes of violence. It suggests practices that are customizable and scalable, from foundational to enhanced, depending on an office’s available resources and experiences, as well as jurisdiction-specific needs and challenges . This Guide is intended to enable the executives responsible for operating a prosecutor’s office to identify policies and practices that can be readily implemented, as well as those that represent actionable goals to work toward. Every prosecutor’s office — whether a small tribal or rural office, a mid-sized suburban office, or a large office serving a major metropolitan area — can build the capacity to improve its response to violent crime by systematically incorporating promising practices that will harness all available resources to achieve the goal of a safer community.Prosecutors Guide for Reducing Violence and Building Safer Communities
This is a summary of a comprehensive resource entitled Seeking Justice and Solutions: A Prosecutor’s Guide to Opioid Overdose Investigations. This Quick Guide provides an overview of areas for consideration, including investigative steps and prosecutorial decision-making. The full Guide provides further discussion of these topics, various examples of how prosecutors’ offices of all sizes have addressed these complex issues, and a self-survey to evaluate an office’s capacity to respond to overdoses.
The opioid epidemic has presented prosecutors with new challenges and questions. “We can’t arrest our way out of this problem” is the new tagline of the epidemic. Through the opioid crisis may be the result of criminal actions by pharmaceutical companies, profit-driven drug sellers, and corrupt physicians, modern prosecutors acknowledge that addiction itself is a medical condition, not a crime. The prosecutor is faced with decisions on two fronts, how to address the criminal activity of drug sellers and how to treat the medical issues of drug users. There is no simple answer. The goal of this guide is to provide options and to highlight innovative, effective strategies for improving prosecutors’ responses to overdose deaths. These responses range from providing access to treatment to prosecuting overdose deaths as homicides.Seeking Justice and Solutions- A Prosecutor’s Guide to Opioid Overdose Investigations
This comprehensive document provides guidance on developing or enhancing intelligence-driven prosecution through a Crime Strategies Unit (CSU), or through processes that accomplish goals similar to those of a CSU. Based in part on interviews with prosecutors, crime analysts, and other specialists in the field, the guide discusses building foundational partnerships, methods for gathering data and intelligence, and ways in which data can inform and support investigations and prosecutions.
This brief overview of The Problem-Solving Prosecutor: Modern Variations on the Crime Strategies Unit summarizes the core elements of intelligence-driven prosecution models.
The goals of the criminal justice system in a domestic violence case are to seek justice, protect the victim and the community, hold the offender accountable, prevent and deter future crime, and rehabilitate the abuser. Criminal no-contact orders are an effective tool to help protect victims of domestic violence during the pendency of criminal prosecution. This resource outlines what a no-contact order is, how it is obtained, and the complexities around whether to impose or maintain them when taking the victim’s wishes and safety into account. The authors discuss how to implement processes to gather timely and accurate information about risk and lethality, a particular victim’s wishes and motivations, and possible negative consequences in order to best determine when to impose or maintain a no contact order in the face of a victim’s opposition.
Domestic violence has been elevated to a global epidemic in recent years. Domestic violence victims of closely knit and observant religious communities face a distinct set of barriers, which affects their ability and willingness to report and to cooperate with law enforcement, as well as their ability to escape the abuse. This article provides a unique window into the hidden world of domestic violence victims in communities of faith and tackles some of the complexities associated with this sensitive issue.