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Violent Crimes Archives

Eyewitness identification and the human memory

Contrary to what some may think, not everyone sitting behind bars is guilty of committing a crime. In fact, a number of people have been exonerated from their prison sentences after DNA proved their innocence. According to the Innocence Project, 362 people have been released from jail after serving years, sometimes decades, behind bars for a crime they did not commit. In more than 70 percent of these cases, eyewitness misidentification played a role in the wrongful conviction of an innocent person. There are several reasons why eyewitness identification is not a reliable form of evidence when used in a criminal case.

State sees increase in reports of assult

Most people in Arizona, just like their counterparts around the country, have watched, read or listened to some of the activities surrounding the allegations of sexual abuse by a woman against the recent nominee to the United States Supreme Court. These allegations have made headlines on the heels of a year-long "Me Too" movement and the sentencing of a famous entertainer who was once revered as a great father figure to many in the country. 

Mixed results in assault and molestation case

People in Arizona who might be accused of inappropriate conduct by others know how difficult it can be to protect one's rights during a defense of these allegations. Nonetheless, it is important to remember that a defense is owed to everyone and certainly an arrest or an accusation does not mean a person is guilty of any form of wrongdoing. In situations where multiple people levy accusations against one person, the challenges may feel stiffer for defendants yet this principle still applies.

Assault charges carry serious consequences

You may remember the recent, high-profile case of a blind man who was arrested for assaulting a Phoenix police officer. Charges against the local man, Marco Zepeda, were later dropped by county attorneys. During media interviews, Zepeda claimed the police officer did not identify himself before pushing Zepeda and yelling at him, according to ABC 15 News. Zepeda said he thought he was being assaulted and fought back until he felt the officer's radio attached to his uniform.

Understanding Arizona's self-defense laws

Discovering that one is in the center of a violent crime case can certainly be overwhelming. First, there is the incident itself: what exactly happened, and what versions of the story are reaching the spotlight? Then there comes the expected fear of a charge, which is often followed by the argument that the act was in self-defense. What happens when an Arizona defendant takes this stance?

State changes mind on death penalty

Arizona is one of the states in the country where the death penalty is still legal and some prosecutors continue to push for this as the ultimate penalty for select offenses. However, defendants should know that even if a prosecution has requested the death penalty be given to them, this is not always what will happen.

Defendant enters plea deal in sexual assault case

Arizona residents who are charged with criminal offenses understandably can be concerned about what type of consequences they may face if they are ultimately convicted of a crime. However, it is important for defendants to know that in addition to the possibility of proving one's innocence, part of the criminal defense process also allows for a plea bargain to be entered into.

False rape allegations and justice served

No matter the angle of debate or persons involved, rape is a complex and sensitive topic. Given today's issues, it is evident that this type of crime is hardly a problem of the past. And as serious as rape is, there are likewise individuals who become caught in the trap of false accusations. All states, including Arizona, offer individuals a fair investigation upon rape allegations. These investigations are crucial in that a defendant's personal and professional life, well being and reputation are all on the line for an incident that never actually happened. 

AG Sessions tells gathering that violent crime rate is surging

Speaking before a law enforcement conference in Alabama recently, Attorney General Jeff Sessions reported that "violent crime is back with a vengeance." He reported that the nationwide murder rate increased in 2015 by nearly 11 percent, which would represent the fastest increase since 1968. "Per capita homicide rates are up in 27 of our 35 largest cities," he said.

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