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Investigating Violent Crime: The Prosecutors Role - Lessons Learned From the Field

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2019
25 pages
Based on the discussions of seasoned prosecutors of violent crime who met in 2017 to examine how to improve the investigation of violent crimes, this paper reviews the various phases of an investigation and provides an overview of issues discussed, along with representative descriptions of the approaches used and challenges faced by the jurisdictions represented.
Topics addressed in the discussion of the initial investigation are absolute versus qualified immunity, vertical prosecution, prosecutors and the crime scene, legal advice during the investigative stage, prosecutor involvement in statements from suspects, witness cooperation and intimidation, confidential informants, jail calls, and services for families of violent crime and homicides. The discussion of post-arrest investigation focuses on charging decisions, triage of forensic evidence, homicide meetings, investigative use of social media and digital evidence, organizing violent crime prosecutor files, and collaboration with police to increase clearance rates and reduce violent crime. Appended listing of participating prosecutors