Prosecutorial Use of Victim Video Statements in Domestic Violence Cases

Bethany Backes, Anna Wasim, Noel Busch-Armendariz, Jennifer LaMotte, Leila Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Prosecuting agencies frequently dismiss domestic violence cases due to lack of adequate evidence and limited victim participation in the case. Evidence-based prosecution asserts high quality evidence can enhance prosecutorial decision-making and reduce the reliance on victims. Video-recorded victim statements offer a potential improvement to evidence quality by capturing additional visual and factual information for prosecutors to determine applicable charges. This qualitative study examines data from six prosecution agencies in a southwestern state to understand how they use video-recorded victim statements to inform their decision-making. Findings provide preliminary evidence on the strength of video-recorded statements in offering more information on the victim, crime, and scene; strengthening negotiations with defense counsel; enhancing case strategies; and improving victim engagement. Implications for continued research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1492-1515
Number of pages24
JournalCrime and Delinquency
Volume68
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Keywords

  • domestic violence
  • prosecutorial decision-making
  • victim statements
  • video evidence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law

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