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NCJ Number: 148872 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Antistalking Statutes: Do They Actually Protect Victims?
Journal: Criminal Law Bulletin  Volume:30  Issue:3  Dated:(May-June 1994)  Pages:203-241
Author(s): E F Sohn
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 39
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article assesses the recent legislative response to stalking.
Abstract: The author briefly describes stalking behavior and discusses the perceived need for specific legislation against stalking. The California legislature responded to public concern by being the first State to pass a statute specifically aimed at the crime of stalking. Within the past 4 years, 47 other States and the District of Columbia have passed antistalking laws. Most antistalking statutes are patterned after the California law and prohibit a person from following or harassing another person with the intent to cause the victim to fear imminent death or serious bodily injury. This article analyzes the efficiency of such laws and whether they actually provide significant advancement in the protection of stalking victims. It also examines the constitutionality of antistalking statutes and reviews the Federal response to stalking. The author concludes that, for the most part, current antistalking statutes do little more than stiffen the penalty for harassment or threatening statutes long in existence; however, relatively few of these statutes face a substantial threat of reversal on constitutional grounds. Still, there has been no real gain in the protection of victims. It is apparent that other steps must be taken to protect stalking victims. A first step has been taken in the Federal report on a model antistalking statute. In recognition that stalking often involves a series of acts, the report recommends that "States should consider establishing a continuum of charges that could be use to intervene at various stages of stalking situations." Overall, the report suggests that a multidisciplinary approach is needed to cope with this crime that encompasses such a wide spectrum of behavior. 211 footnotes
Main Term(s): Victim-witness legislation
Index Term(s): Anti-stalking laws; Criminology; State laws
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