“We Prosecute Murder Without the Victim’s Help. Why Not Domestic Violence? | For years, cases in which victims didn’t want to cooperate were simply tossed out. Then a dedicated group of prosecutors found a better way.” – New York Times OPINION

domestic abuseA portrait of Michelle Monson Mosure and her children, Kristy and Kyle, taken in the summer of 1999. It was given to Michelle’s family by the parents of her husband, Rocky Mosure, after he shot and killed all three.” – Creditvia The Billings Gazette

by Rachel Louise Snyder

“Domestic violence victims recant their testimony as much as 70 percent of the time, according to some estimates. People like Michelle do so to protect themselves against their abusers’ retaliation when they feel that authorities cannot or will not help.

“Once they recant, they’re often proved right. Authorities in many jurisdictions still believe that without victim cooperation, there’s no reason to prosecute. If a victim doesn’t care, the logic goes, why should anyone else?

“‘The criminal justice system,’ Ms. Tenney told me, ‘isn’t set up for uncooperative witnesses.’

“In the 1980s and ’90s, however, a group of dedicated prosecutors began to believe recanting didn’t have to be an impediment to legal action; after all, murder trials happened every day without victim cooperation.”

Read this opinion piece in its entirety at The New York Times.

 

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