May Final Friday's Webinar: A Prosecutor’s Duty to Disclose: Brady v. Maryland
4/30/13Please join us for May’s Final Friday’s webinar, A Prosecutor’s Duty to Disclose: Brady v. Maryland, to be held on Friday, May 31st from 3:00-4:00pm (EST). This month’s webinar kicks off a special two-part APA webinar series on Brady issues and will feature a presentation and discussion by Michelle Waymire of the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, a regular ethics presenter at APA’s national training conferences, and Robert Hood, APA’s Director of the Community Prosecution & Violent Crime Division.
Michelle and Robert will review and discuss Brady and its progeny, why these cases are important to prosecutors, and the issues and trends in recent cases. A follow up webinar later this summer will cover Brady lists and disclosure protocols, and the liability risks prosecutors face for failing to develop such policies. This training is open to all prosecutors, law enforcement, court personnel and other allied criminal justice partners.
APA is seeking one hour of “ethics” eligible CLE certification from the State of Virginia for each of these webinars. Please join us for this important and thought-provoking presentation. If you would like to download a flyer click here. **Please click HERE to register**
U.S. Firearm Homicides on the Decline
4/29/13The U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) released encouraging data this week showing that firearm related homicides declined 39 percent from 1993 to 2011 and that non-fatal firearm crimes declined by 69 percent.
Prosecuting attorneys throughout the nation are encouraged by the report findings as they work alongside state, local and national law enforcement partners to reduce gun violence and create safer communities.
"Prosecutors are committed to reducing the level of gun violence in the communities in which we serve, and while these latest statistics are positive step in that direction, there is still a great deal of work ahead," said David LaBahn, President of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. "Law enforcement will continue to do our part to develop and implement innovative programs to further reduce gun violence."
Findings of the BJS report include:
Firearm-related homicides declined 39%, from 18,253 in 1993 to 11,101 in 2011
Nonfatal firearm crimes declined 69%, from 1.5 million victimizations in 1993 to 467,300 victimizations in 2011
Firearm violence accounted for about 70% of all homicides and less than 10% of all nonfatal violent crime from 1993 to 2011
The Association of Prosecuting Attorneys is working with non-profit organizations and with fellow law enforcement officials to develop violence reduction and prevention policies and programs to keep our communities safe.
Court: Law applying crack sentences retroactive
5/20/13LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — People convicted of crack cocaine offenses have a right to resentencing hearings under a 2010 law that lessened penalties for possession and dealing, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday. The decision to expand the Fair Sentencing Act to people whose cases played out before the law's passage potentially opens the door for thousands of inmates to ask federal judges to lower their prison time. The ruling, handed down in the case of two Kentucky men each sentenced to 10 years in prison for possession and distribution of crack cocaine, expands upon a U.S. Supreme Court ruling from June 2012. In that case, the justices ruled that people who committed crack cocaine crimes before more lenient penalties took effect in 2010 and received their prison sentence afterward should benefit from the new rules. The high court didn't specify if the law applied to people whose cases were over before the passage of the law. The Fair Sentencing Act lowered the disparity between crack cocainesentences and powder cocaine sentences from 100-to-1 to about 18-to-1. Judge Gilbert Merritt, writing for the majority, said the law "can and should" be interpreted to replace "the old, discriminatory mandatory minimums," which weighed heavier on black defendants.[More]
DA staffing shortage causes backlogs
5/20/13A local family experienced first-hand what can happen in an understaffed district attorney’s office. On a Wednesday last month, the Winnebago County District Attorney’s Office had enough staff available to cover the county’s six Circuit Court branches and one court commissioner’s office. However, there hadn’t enough time – or people – to finish making charging decisions for each person who was in custody at the Winnebago County Jail. As a result, a family that showed up for a court hearing for a relative who was in the jail waited needlessly for a hearing that had to be postponed. Assistant District Attorney Eric Sparr spoke with the family, whom he said was irritated, to explain the situation and apologize. “That was one thing where the direct impact of not having more people was felt,” said Sparr, who has been a prosecutor since 2005. “Somebody was in jail an extra day. Now maybe he’ll end up being in jail (once bond is set), but we don’t know.” Statewide, 215 more prosecutors are needed, meaning staffing is at 67 percent of what it should be, according to an analysis by the Wisconsin State Prosecutor’s Office. That’s up from a shortage of 98 positions in 2010, before the formula used by the office to determine need was adjusted to better account for the time required by various types of cases.
Legislation Aims to Strengthen Prosecution of Sexual Assaults in Military
5/17/13Days after the second sex crime scandal in the last month hit the military, a bi-partisan group of lawmakers introduced a bill Thursday that would take prosecution of sexual assaults in the military out of the chain of command, preventing military commanders from handling the cases of subordinates. “The issue of sexual violence is not new. It has been allowed to go in the shadows for far too long,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., the bill’s sponsor, said in a news conference Thursday. “Enough is enough. It’s time to change this system that has been held over since George Washington. That is simply not working today for the men and women who are serving.” “When any single victim of sexual assault is forced to salute her attacker, clearly our system is broken,” Gillibrand said. The bill would remove the prosecution of all crimes, including sexual assault, punishable by up to one year or more, from the chain of command and place them under the jurisdiction of military prosecutors. Survivors of sexual assault in the military have long advocated for such action because they believe the current system prevents some from reporting their assaults out of fear of retaliation.
| 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: firstname.lastname@example.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.
Member Secure Login Center