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NCJ Number: 122645 Find in a Library
Title: Prosecutorial Discretion in Filing Charges in Domestic Violence Cases
Journal: Criminology  Volume:27  Issue:3  Dated:(August 1989)  Pages:487-510
Author(s): J Schmidt; E H Steury
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 24
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The research reported in this paper is based on data collected from prosecutors' files on domestic violence cases; it isolates variables associated with a decision to issue criminal charges in a case.
Abstract: The analysis revealed that the charging decision was most affected by the defendant's current or past choices. The factors most strongly associated with the decision to issue a criminal charge were the defendant's appearing at the charging conference and his use of drugs or alcohol at the time of the violence. Some other factors which were reflective of choices made by the defendant include the degree of injury inflicted, the instrument used, the fact of prior offenses, and prior abuse of the particular victim. Much of the data suggests that the decision to prosecute is based largely on the defendant's past and current actions and choices. Little suggests that victims are blamed or denied equal protection of the law. 4 tables, 10 notes, 30 references. (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Prosecutorial discretion
Index Term(s): Domestic assault; Drug use; Rights of the accused
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