A Profile of State Appellate Court Decision Making: Rape Shield and Conviction Appeals
State Constitutional Commentaries and Notes, Vol. 4, No. 4, pp. 1-15
10 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2009
Date Written: 1993
This paper offers a profile of state appellate court interpretation of rape shield provisions from the 50 states. Studying the corpus of appeals of rape convictions where the shield provision was challenged, we examine about 500 decisions of intermediate appellated decisions and courts of last resort. This preliminary analysis provides a profile of the nature of the conviction offense, characteristics of the court's opinion, and particular treatment of shield provisions. In the process, the research sheds light on the significance of statutory variation, state appellate court decision making, and the instrumental and symbolic dimensions of the more general rape law reform efforts.
Keywords: Rape Shield Laws, State Appellate Courts, criminal appeals, Appellate Courts, Rape, appeals, conviction
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