Investigating Violent Crime: The Prosecutor’s Role – Lessons Learned From the Field

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Author(s): Kristine Hamann, PCE and John Delaney

Violent crime prosecutors do difficult and important work. In October 2017, fifteen seasoned violent-crime prosecutors spent a day and a half sharing their ideas about how to improve the investigation of violent crimes at a meeting sponsored by the Bureau of Justice Assistance of the U.S. Department of Justice. Though the group had much in common, it was quickly apparent that there are a variety of approaches to their work.

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The Benefits of Electronic Discovery in King County

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Author(s): Kristine Hamann, PCE

Prosecutors are obligated to provide timely and complete discovery, particularly with regard to exculpatory and impeachment material. The discovery process can be complex and time consuming. Failure to properly record discovery documents provided to the defense can jeopardize cases and put prosecutors at risk of being charged with ethical violations.

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Secure in our Convictions: Using New Evidence to Strengthen Prosecution

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Author(s): Kristine Hamann, Rebecca Rader Brown

In May 2013, a Colorado man fails to show up to work. Concerned, the man’s boss visits his house, where the man’s roommate refuses to let the boss enter. The boss contacts the police, who launch a missing person investigation. Using cell tower technology, police are able to approximate the missing man’s location in the hours leading up to his disappearance.

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Police Body-Worn Cameras: What Prosecutors Need to Know

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Author(s): Kristine Hamann, PCE

As police departments across the United States embrace the use of police body-worn cameras (“BWCs”), it is imperative that prosecutors be involved in the uptake process as early as possible. The cameras will inevitably capture a great deal of evidentiary material that will be used in every type of criminal prosecution. Thus, systems and policies must be developed to ensure that this evidence is properly captured and delivered to the prosecutor in a timely and usable way.

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Combatting Crime on the Dark Web: How Law Enforcement and Prosecutors are Using Cutting-Edge Technology to Fight Cyber Crime

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Author(s): Bradley Altvater, PCE

Criminals are increasingly using shadowy corners of the internet to mask their identities and conduct illicit activities. Marketplaces on the “dark web” facilitate a range of criminal activities, including human trafficking and the distribution of child pornography. However, law enforcement and prosecutors are not helpless in the fight against these new criminal tactics.

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Best Practices for Prosecutors: A Nationwide Movement

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Author(s): Kristine Hamann, Rebecca Rader Brown

A prosecutor’s core mission is and has always been to promote justice and to protect the community by ensuring public safety. Over the past 30 years, the way prosecutors approach this mission has evolved. In place of the old, reactive criminal justice model, prosecutors and police are using new methods and evidence to take a proactive, broader approach to preventing, investigating, and prosecuting crime.

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Witness Intimidation: What You Can Do To Protect Your Witness

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Author(s): PCE

Witness intimidation and witness tampering can occur in any case, from simple misdemeanors to homicides. It has a variety of consequences from the silencing of an entire community, to the murder of a witness, to the recantation of truthful testimony. Though witness intimidation is an insidious problem, there are strategies throughout the investigation and prosecution of a case that can help to keep a witness safe and reduce the impact of intimidation.

The Prosecutor’s Evolving Role

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Author(s): Hamann, Greenberg-Chao

Prosecutors have a core mission to protect the community and ensure justice when enforcing the law. Traditionally, a prosecutor’s role was a limited and relatively passive one – to evaluate and prosecute arrests made by the police But over the last forty years, there has been a dramatic transformation and expansion of prosecutors’ mission, to not only vigorously prosecute criminal cases, but also to engage in crime prevention, problem solving and community partnerships.