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NCJ Number: 136934 Find in a Library
Title: Analysis of State Rape Shield Laws
Journal: Social Science Quarterly  Volume:72  Issue:4  Dated:(December 1991)  Pages:774-788
Author(s): J E Call; D Nice; S M Talarico
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 15
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A survey of State rape shield laws revealed five categories of statute: those that admit sexual history evidence on a showing of relevance, those that admit sexual history evidence with a hearing on admissibility, those that give trial courts general discretion in admitting sexual history evidence, those that generally prohibit the introduction of sexual history evidence with the exception of a few defined situations, and those that prohibit the introduction of sexual history evidence with the above exceptions and only after a hearing.
Abstract: Thirty-four States have strong rape shield laws, while 16 have weak shield laws. This study examined the characteristics that could account for the differences between weak and strong shield provisions. The research focused on five types of predictors: the extensiveness of crime in the State, State ideological orientation, perspectives on women, socioeconomic characteristics, and the judicial environment. The analysis indicated that rape shield laws reflect the influence of characteristics that also shape other policy decisions. The findings also noted the role of population density in shaping rape shield laws. 2 tables and 23 references
Main Term(s): Rape victim shield laws; Rules of evidence
Index Term(s): State laws
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