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22 Crim. Just. Pol'y Rev. 3 (2011)

handle is hein.journals/cjpr22 and id is 1 raw text is: 

Articles
                                                           Criminal Justice Policy Review
                                                                       22(1)3-26
Gang-Related             Homicide                            ©2011 SAGE Publications
                                                      Reprints and permission: http://www.
Charging         Decisions: The                       sagepub.... jo.... sPermissi ...
                                                        DOI: I10.1I177/0887403410361626
Implementation of a                                             http://cip.sagepub.comn

Specialized Prosecution                                              $SAGE

Unit in Los Angeles




David C. Pyrooz',Scott E.Wolfe',
and Cassia Spohn'



Abstract
This study examines prosecutorial decisions to reject gang-related homicide charges.
Focusing on a large, traditional gang jurisdiction-Los Angeles-the authors
investigate the effect of victim, suspect, and incident characteristics on the likelihood of
case rejection for 614 homicide suspects.The data were collected by the Los Angeles
District Attorney's Office to evaluate Operation Hardcore, a specialized prosecution
unit initiated to address the complexities of prosecuting violent gang-related crimes.
These data, which captured decisions made in one of the nation's largest district
attorney's offices, provide a unique glimpse into how a jurisdiction addressed the
growing problem of gang violence. Overall, the results of this study shed light on how
prosecutors charge gang-related homicides and how multiple victim cases-which
potentially attract more public attention-may influence such decisions. Moreover,
the findings also have implications for specialized prosecution units, as they were
found to reduce the likelihood of case rejection. Policy implications and directions for
future research are offered.


Keywords
charging decisions, homicide, gangs, prosecutors, specialized units, victimization, Los
Angeles



'Arizona State University

Corresponding Author:
David C. Pyrooz, School of Criminology and Criminal JusticeArizona State University, 411 N. Central
Ave., Phoenix,AZ 85004
E-mail: David.Pyrooz@asu.edu

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