Ethical Considerations for Prosecutors in Intimate Partner Violence Cases

Intimate partner violence cases present unique ethical challenges related to victim privacy and confidentiality, prosecutorial discretion, recantation, and disclosure of evidence. Achieving justice in intimate partner violence cases requires prosecutors to have a firm grasp of their legal obligations as well as their ethical responsibilities throughout each stage of the criminal justice process. This recording addresses ethical considerations in the context of charging decisions, immunity, compulsion of victim testimony, Crawford, and the investigative function of a prosecutor. The presenter uses hypothetical case scenarios to challenge prosecutors to evaluate their decision-making in the context of ethical rules and principles.

This webinar recording should qualify prosecutors for 1 hour of continuing legal education (CLE) credits. Prosecutors are encouraged to contact their state bar association in reference to application requirements and related fees.

Context is Everything: Battered Women Charged with Crimes

There are many dilemmas facing police, prosecutors, and allied professionals who deal with domestic violence, especially in cases where battered women have been charged with crimes. Mandatory arrest policies can lead to the arrest of victims exercising their right to self-defense or otherwise acting in response to the dynamics of the violent relationship. This webinar emphasizes the importance of contextual analysis in evaluating criminal responsibility at all stages of the criminal justice process. Such analysis will help to ensure that the dynamics of domestic violence are properly factored into decisions about arrest, charging, plea negotiations, and sentencing, and will enhance the quality of justice for those who have been victims of abuse.

This webinar recording should qualify prosecutors for 1.5 hours of continuing legal education (CLE) credits. Prosecutors are encouraged to contact their state bar association in reference to application requirements and related fees.

Challenges Multiplied: Multi-Defendant Rape and Witnessed Rape

Multiple-offender and witnessed rape cases are becoming more prevalent and more complex due to the use of technology – particularly social media – to threaten and intimidate both victims and witnesses. The challenges to prosecution require innovative solutions to achieve justice while protecting victim privacy and witness safety.This webinar addresses issues that commonly arise in these cases, including: digital evidence; joinder and severance, immunity; principals and accessories; admissibility of evidence; witness intimidation; and common defenses.

This webinar recording should qualify prosecutors for 1 hour of continuing legal education (CLE) credits. Prosecutors are encouraged to contact their state bar association in reference to application requirements and related fees.

The Prosecutors’ Resource on Forfeiture by Wrongdoing

Forfeiture by wrongdoing is a longstanding exception to a defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to confront the witnesses against him. If a defendant causes a witness to be unavailable for trial through his wrongful acts, with the intention of preventing that witness from testifying, then the introduction of the witness’s prior testimonial statements is not barred by the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution. This resource will review the origins and requirements of forfeiture by wrongdoing, examine its utility in domestic violence cases, outline trial strategies, and provide a checklist for hearings on forfeiture.

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Betraying the Badge: Officer-Involved Domestic Violence

Batterers who wear a badge can misuse their professional training and authority as weapons against their victims. Officers who are victims of intimate partner violence may be reluctant to identify as victims and may face negative professional consequences for reporting, or failing to report, the abuse. This webinar addresses: the complex dynamics of violence when one or both parties are in law enforcement; effective management of simultaneous administrative and criminal proceedings; provision of appropriate services for victims; and the mitigation of consequences for victim-officers who recant, fail to appear, or otherwise decline to participate.

This webinar recording should qualify prosecutors for 1.5 hours of continuing legal education (CLE) credits. Prosecutors are encouraged to contact their state bar association in reference to application requirements and related fees.

The Prosecutors’ Resource on Sexual Abuse in Confinement

Sexual abuse in confinement has persistently presented tremendous challenges to investigators and prosecutors because of internal and external barriers to reporting, including the behaviors, actions, and decision-making power of first responders that may result in the failure to make an official report to law enforcement. Additional challenges include issues related to evidence collection and retention, identification of witnesses, and multi-level biases against inmates. This resource provides an overview of the Prison Rape Elimination Act and national standards related to a victim-centered, offender-focused investigation and prosecution of a sexual abuse in confinement. The issue discusses detailed strategy for prosecuting these cases, including investigation, pretrial, jury selection, trial testimony and sentencing.

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Alcohol- and Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault: A Survey of the Law

While the absence of laws covering the assault of a voluntarily intoxicated victim is often cited as a barrier to prosecuting sexual assault cases, the laws in all 58 U.S. jurisdictions allow for the prosecution of sexual assault cases in which the victim was voluntarily intoxicated. The language in some statutes, however, may not always include the assaultive conduct relevant to a specific case. Additionally, some sexual assault statutes do include an element requiring the victim’s intoxication to be caused by a perpetrator, without the victim’s knowledge, for the purpose of perpetrating a sexual assault. Because language among these statutes is not consistent and may not specifically refer to intoxicated victims, this Statutes in Review synthesizes the similarities and distinctions among the statutory language and summarizes AEquitas’ more comprehensive analysis of rape and sexual assault laws covering alcohol- and drug -facilitated sexual assault involving penetration in all jurisdictions in the country.

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