Title page for ETD etd-04142009-154712

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Kershaw, Njeri
Author's Email Address nkershaw@vt.edu
URN etd-04142009-154712
Title Do the Views of the Prosecutor’s Offices Have an Impact on Whether Intimate Partner Violence Cases Go To Trial?
Degree Master of Science
Department Sociology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Hawdon, James E. Committee Chair
Calasanti, Toni M. Committee Member
Ryan, John W. Committee Member
  • domestic violence
  • intimate partner violence
  • no-drop policies
Date of Defense 2009-03-30
Availability unrestricted
Each year there are approximately 589, 000 nonfatal violent victimizations (e.g., aggravated assault, simple assault) committed by an intimate partner (US Dept. of Justice, 2003). Of that, roughly 85% of these violent victimizations were committed against females (US Dept. of Justice, 2003). Even with this large amount of violence against women, only about 33% of the perpetrators of those crimes are brought to trial in state courts (US Dept. of Justice, 2005). Even a cursory look at the literature indicates that extra-legal factors, including the personal views of the police, judges, and prosecutors, have an effect on which cases are brought to trial. Mandatory prosecution laws attempt to overcome these extra-legal factors. I will investigate if these laws succeed in reducing prosecutorial discretion and result in a greater percentage of domestic violence cases going to trial or if the views of the prosecutors’ offices still determine which cases are brought to trial.
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