Maricopa County aims to improve strangulation investigations

June 08, 2012

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office wants to be able to better investigate strangulation attempts. It’s getting ready to roll out a program throughout the county to make it easier for investigators to collect evidence in those cases. From Phoenix, KJZZ’s Mark Brodie has more.

MARK BRODIE: The county attorney’s office cites studies that show as many as half of all female victims of domestic violence have been strangled in their lifetimes, which makes them more likely to also be homicide victims. Under the Domestic Violence Strangulation Project, law enforcement officers will take domestic violence victims to hospitals throughout the county, where Forensic Nurse Examiners will examine them, and collect evidence using techniques including advanced photographic documentation. Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery says under a recently ended pilot version of this program, the number of strangulation cases submitted that were ultimately prosecuted rose to 60 percent - they had been at 14 percent before the pilot program.

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