CJ 140 Project Three Scenario Victim Witness Advocate

You are a victim witness advocate assigned to the district attorney’s office at the local court. As part of your responsibilities, you meet with witnesses and victims before criminal hearings and trials. Part of your job is to explain the criminal proceedings and prepare the witness/victim for what he or she may expect to see and hear during the proceedings. You are preparing to meet with and interview a victim at the courthouse in the days before trial. Your meeting will take place in a meeting room inside the courthouse. The meeting rooms are small. Usually, the only furniture in these meeting rooms is a rectangular table with four hard, wooden chairs. All of these meeting rooms also have a small, tilt-in window with bars on the wall opposite the door; a picture of the current president of the United States and a picture of your state’s supreme court justices on one side of the room; and a copy of the U.S. Constitution on the wall opposite these pictures. Victim: John Smith Suspect: Jane Smith Alleged Facts A male victim and female suspect have been married for over twenty years. The female arrived home, intoxicated, at approximately 1:00 a.m. She entered the marital bedroom and violently attacked the victim. The victim was beaten with closed fists, and his face was stomped and kicked with bare feet. The victim’s screams alerted a neighbor, who dialed 911. Police arrived, conducted their investigation, and arrested Jane Smith. They charged her with domestic assault and battery as well as domestic assault and battery with serious bodily injury. The victim was transported to the hospital, where it was determined he sustained bruising on his torso, a broken rib, a broken nose, and dental injury (a broken tooth). He applied for and was granted a domestic violence protection order. The victim provided and signed a written statement. Jane Smith was arraigned and ordered held in custody pending criminal proceedings due to the risk of danger to the victim. Family History Police have responded to the victim’s residence frequently for disturbances between the couple. None of the previous responses resulted in criminal charges. However, after reviewing those police reports, you note that the husband is identified as the victim and the wife is identified as the aggressor. It is clear based on your case assessment that the husband experiences regular verbal and emotional abuse from his wife. There are no children in the home. Prior to your meeting, you are told the victim “has cold feet” and may no longer want to testify against his wife.

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