New End Violence Against Women International – EVAWI Webinar on Uncovering Sexual Assault (December 10th)

 “Reduce Attrition Rates of Sexual Assault Through Proper Charging Decisions and Effective Jury Selection”
 
Presented by:
Sheila Polk, JD and Elizabeth Ortiz, JD
 
Monday, December 10, 2018
90 Minutes
10:00 AM PT / 11:00 AM MT / 12:00 PM CT / 1:00 PM ET
 
Course Description
 
Despite extensive research exploring the dynamics of sexual assault and common profiles of survivors and perpetrators, crimes of sexual violence continue to be misunderstood by the average juror, prosecutor, and judge. Too many people still believe the outdated myths of “real rape” that shift blame from the offender to the survivor. This webinar will dispel the myths of “real rape,” then focus on the charging decision and the art of jury selection for successful prosecutions of sexual assault offenders.
 
Prosecutors, much like the general public, frequently have a world-view of “real rape” that is based on myths, gender-based stereotypes, and implicit biases. This view can result in the rejection of cases for charging and, if the case is charged, in an ineffective and unsuccessful prosecution. This workshop will focus on the charging decision, the use of offender-based language in the courtroom, and effective jury selection with the goal of reducing the attrition of sexual assault cases in the criminal justice system.
 
The goal of voir dire (the questioning of prospective jurors) is to select a jury that can be fair to both sides and render a verdict based on the facts, not personal biases. In sexual assault cases, jury selection is also the opportunity to educate the jury about the myths of real rape; identify and strike jurors whose biases will interfere with their ability to render a fair verdict; and prepare the jury for difficult facts and the use of graphic terminology and evidence during the trial.
 
Through the use of interactive exercises, participants will gain the skills, knowledge and confidence necessary to make appropriate charging decisions and effectively select a jury in cases of sexual assault. This webinar will also equip participants with tools and knowledge to share with their colleagues in their own offices.