Voir Dire to Verdict: The Strategic Prosecution of Strangulation Crimes

Room D October 18, 2018 3:15 pm - 4:45 pm

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Kelsey McKay

As legislators enact strangulation statutes throughout the country, the seriousness and danger of strangulation is formally codified in the penal code. Unfortunately, these laws are passed without a framework for the criminal justice system to implement policy and practice. As a result, law enforcement and prosecutors often rely on visible injury to obtain a conviction. However, most strangulation cases lack significant external visible injury, so reliance is misguided and often results in dismissals or reductions by prosecutors. This session provides attendees with descriptions, explanations and translations of evidence to help develop these cases beyond a reasonable doubt.


It will explore best practices in the prosecution of strangulation and suffocation cases including: voir dire strategies, helpful analogies and translations, developing and utilizing medical experts and tips to help juries understand the complicated evidence in this crime by connecting the dots for the trier of fact. This training will provide tips on jury selection and recruitment and development of medical expert witness to help juries understand this complicated crime.