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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 97706 Find in a Library
Title: Sexual Assault Prosecution - An Examination of Model Rape Legislation in Michigan (From Criminal Justice Politics and Women - The Aftermath of Legally Mandated Change, P 65-82, 1985, Claudine SchWeber and Clarice Feinman, ed. - See NCJ-97701)
Author(s): S Caringella-MacDonald
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: Haworth Press, Inc
Binghamton, NY 13904
Sale Source: Haworth Press, Inc
10 Alice Street
Binghamton, NY 13904
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study, undertaken to assess the effectiveness of rape reform legislation, measures attrition and conviction rates from 1975 to 1977 in one Michigan jurisdiction (Kalamazoo County) operating under the model Criminal Sexual Conduct Code and compares the results to those of traditional law jurisdictions.
Abstract: Findings show that prosecutors authorized police-requested charges 46 percent of the time, while they denied requests or dropped cases at intake in 54 percent of the cases. The acquittal rate for authorized cases was 22 percent; the conviction rate, 73 percent. Over half of these convictions were the result of plea negotiations as opposed to trial. Further, analysis of Detroit data for pre- and post-reform years (1973 and 1975 to 1979, respectively) suggests that the law had a favorable impact on overall case mortality and convictions. Further comparisons of the two Michigan jurisdiction rates after reform to three basically traditional rape law jurisdictions (Washnigton, D.C., Kansas City, and Seattle) strengthen the viability of such an interpretation. A measure of success in the implementation of the model code was evident in lower attrition of cases. In addition, the removal of unique and discriminatory requirements and standards in the 1974 Michigan statute can be seen as effective, because higher conviction rates were achievable. While legislative reforms mark progress, alone they cannot rectify the inequitable treatment of rape victims. Two tables and 39 notes are included.
Index Term(s): Law reform; Legislative impact; Michigan; Prosecution; Rape; Rape law reform; Sexual assault; State laws
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