By Cassia Spohn, Julie Horney
This e-book advanced from our curiosity in rape as feminists and as sodal sdentists. As feminists, we have been concemed concerning the therapy of rape sufferers and the attrition in rape circumstances below conventional rape legislations, and we welcomed criminal reforms designed to enhance the location. As sodal sdentists, we puzzled in regards to the efficacy of criminal alterations geared toward an inherently resistant court docket procedure. We additionally have been all for the shortcoming of stories studying the effect of those adjustments; we have been really stunned to discover that not anyone had tried to ana lyze the impression of the reforms in additional than one jurisdiction. Con vinced that untangling the consequences of the reforms from the consequences of contextual components required a multijurisdictional examine, we deeided to adopt the venture. We fast came upon that comparing rape legislation reform in different jurisdictions will be no effortless job. We had deeided that such an assessment will require per month facts at the final result of rape instances prior to and after the reforms have been carried out, as weIl as qualitative facts at the attitudes of legal justice officers towards the reforms. simply because states don't generate per month facts on case results, we might need to gather the knowledge ourse1ves from court docket documents major tained by way of person jurisdictions. to procure an sufficient variety of situations for the time-series research, we'd need to choose our websites from huge city jurisdictions scattered in the course of the United States.
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Additional info for Rape Law Reform: A Grassroots Revolution and Its Impact
C. , are much weaker than those enacted in the other three jurisdictions. In 1975, Texas passed a weak rape shield law. No further reforms were enacted until1983, when definitional changes were adopted. The four crimes of rape, aggravated rape, sexual abuse, and aggravated sexual abuse were removed from the "SexualOffenses" section of the penal code, and sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault were added to the "Assaultive Offenses" section. 02 (1974) (Supp. 1980)]. The new gender-neutrallaws retain the emphasis on consent, but the definition of consent foeuses more on the accused' s assaultive behavior than on the victim's lack of resistance.
We focus in particular on those characteristics likely to promote the development of stable courtroom work groups and consistent case-processing routines. We then attempt to explain how the differences we uncover might affect the processing of rape cases and the implementation of the rape law reforms. The ]udiciary There are a number of ways in which the structure and organization of the judieiary can affect the nature of courtroom work groups. The size of the bench, the degree of specialization among judges, and the extent to which judges function autonomously can influence the stability and cohesiveness of the courtroom work group, as weIl as case-processing routines.
Because the prosecutor controls the presentation of evidence before the grand jury and be- 52 Chapter 3 cause the defendant does not have the right to cross-examine witnesses who testify against him, a rape victim may be less fearful of testifying, and thus more willing to cooperate, if the case is going to the grand jury. Conversely, the victim may be reluctant to appear at the preliminary hearing, where her testimony can be challenged and her credibility questioned. A judge in Detroit reported that he knew lawyers "who prided themselves on being able to break a complaining witness down.
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