Prosecuting Domestic Violence Homicides (PA)

State Specific
February 8 - 10, 2012

Prosecuting Domestic Violence Homicides (PDVH) was a two and one-half day course designed to explore the unique issues present in cases where intimate partner violence results in death. There was no cost to prosecutors accepted to attend. Funding for this course was provided by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

The curriculum focused on overcoming common defenses, introducing other crimes evidence, effectively arguing forfeiture by wrongdoing, and working with medical and forensic experts. Additionally, the curriculum promoted using fatality review to prevent domestic violence homicides and encourages a proactive approach to these cases by participating in a coordinated community response to domestic violence.

PDVH used a hypothetical case scenario as the basis for interactive lectures, group discussions, and courtroom exercises. The faculty consisted of state and national experts including prosecutors, law enforcement, a medical examiner, and other allied professionals. The experts were also be available to consult with the participants on cases from their own jurisdictions. Prosecutors left PDVH with new ideas and strategies for holding offenders accountable and keeping communities safe.

Our distinguished faculty included: Anne Acker, Safe Home Director, Hanover YWCA; Cpl. George Cronin, Phd, Criminal Investigations Assessment Unit, Pennsylvania State Police; Teresa Drake, Director, The Source Program, Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Clinic (IPVAC), Levin College of Law, University of Florida; Dr. Dean Hawley, Forensic Pathologist, Indiana University School of Medicine; Chris Mallios, AEquitas Attorney Advisor; Ed McCann, First Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office; and John Wilkinson, AEquitas Attorney Advisor.

PDVH was hosted at the Radisson Warwick Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Twenty-eight (28) prosecutors from across Pennsylvania were in attendance. Attendees qualified for approximately fifteen (15) continuing legal education credit hours, pending state approval. Participant comments from evaluations included:

  • "Blew my socks off! By far the best seminar I have ever attended."
  • "Overall, I love the AEquitas programs. They provide a bounty of information and creative ways to investigate and gather evidence, as well as unique ways to get that evidence before a Judge and/or jury! This is practical information that I actually us on a day to day basis in my office! I love going back and sharing what I have learned with my entire office! Thank you AEquitas!"
  • "I use what I learn at AEquitas programs in trial practice. These programs are very helpful for practicing trial lawyers."

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