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 APA Highlights

April's Final Friday's Webinar
In the United States, April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. In recognition, APA is hosting the webinar, “Rape on Campus: Effective Prosecution of Sex Offenders at Institutes of Higher Education” on Friday, April 25th from 3:00 – 4:00pm (EDT).  Studies commissioned by the National Institute of Justice estimate that 20-25% percent of women are raped in college, and that, in 79-90% of cases, the perpetrator was not a stranger, but rather an acquaintance, friend, or other non-stranger. Non-stranger rapists are adept at creating, identifying, and manipulating perceived vulnerabilities in their victims through the use of premeditated tactics and non-traditional weapons. This presentation will focus on alcohol-facilitated sexual assaults, with an emphasis on non-stranger rapists (e.g., motivations and characteristics, myths and misconceptions, serial and crossover offending, etc.). John F. Wilkinson, Attorney Advisor for AEquitas: The Prosecutors’ Resource on Violence Against Women, will also discuss strategies for overcoming the unique challenges these offenders present on college campuses. One substantive CLE credit has been applied for from the Virginia State Bar. If you would like to download a flyer click here. **Please click HERE to register**

4th National Animal Cruelty Prosecution Conference
The Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA), in partnership with the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and the Prosecuting Attorneys' Council of Georgia (PAC), will host the 4th National Animal Cruelty Prosecution Conference from May 5-7th in Atlanta, GA. This conference will bring together prosecutors and professionals in the criminal justice and animal welfare field.   Please click here to register. Please note that registration is free. Please click here for the agenda (subject to change).Scholarships are available on a first come first serve basis please click here to download the application.

 Current News

D.A. creates new unit to review homicide convictions
In announcing the creation of a new office to investigate claims of wrongful convictions, District Attorney Seth Williams proclaimed yesterday: "Philadelphians want us to charge the right people with the right crimes - nothing more and nothing less."  His newly-minted Conviction Review Unit, headed by veteran homicide prosecutor Mark Gilson, will begin reinvestigating disputed homicide convictions that have "legitimate" claims of new evidence and declarations of innocence, Williams said at a news conference at his office.  "The very legitimacy of the criminal-justice system comes when the populace believes that those who have violated laws are held accountable, and those that are truly innocent are set free," said Williams, who cautioned that the new unit is no "get-out-of-prison-free card."

Prosecutors confronting marijuana law’s challenges
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A new law that will decriminalize marijuana in October involves some ambiguities that police and prosecutors are just beginning to confront.  Under the law, possession of rolling papers, pipes and other marijuana accessories will remain a criminal offense. This means a person caught smoking a joint technically could be arrested for the rolling paper but not the marijuana inside.  Also, fines are supposed to go up for anyone caught with the drug more than once, but Scott Shellenberger, the state’s attorney of Baltimore County, says it will be hard for police to establish whether a person has been charged before. Since marijuana possession will no longer be a crime, it will not show up in the criminal database.
The Washington Post

Court OKs Warrantless Animal Rescue When 'Appropriate'
Massachusetts' highest court has ruled that officials may enter private property without a search warrant to rescue animals “in appropriate circumstances.”  Ruling on an issue of first impression for the state’s high court on Friday in Commonwealth v. Heather M. Duncan, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court said that, “in appropriate circumstances, animals, like humans, should be afforded the protection of the emergency aid exception.”  “In addition to promoting life-saving measures, the ability to render such assistance vindicates the legislative framework for preventing cruelty to animals, particularly the provision regulating the conditions under which dogs may be kept outside,” Associate Justice Barbara Lenk wrote.  She cited precedents from California, the District of Columbia, Rhode Island, Montana and Vermont.
The National Law Journal

 Technical Assistance

The Association of Prosecuting Attorneys provides 24/7 technical assistance and professional case consultation to prosecutors. Please submit requests to the following email and you will be contacted within 24 hours: info@apainc.org

 About APA

APA was incorporated to act as a global forum for the exchange of ideas, allow prosecutors to collaborate with all criminal justice partners, conduct timely and effective technical assistance and provide access to technology for the enhancement of the prosecutorial function.

In addition, APA will serve as a model organization and an advocate for prosecutors on emerging issues related to the administration of justice.

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