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Gang Prosecution Manual

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2009
121 pages
Prepared by working prosecutors and investigators from different States, this manual assists local prosecutors and investigators in preparing for a gang-related crime prosecution, from the initial crime-scene investigation to preparing and presenting the case, followed by sentencing specific to gang cases.
Section 1, which focuses on the investigation of the gang case, contains information on every aspect of cooperation between law enforcement and prosecution personnel in gang-related investigations. Topics addressed include police documentation of gang affiliation and activity, legal considerations in obtaining gang records, resources that can assist in documenting gang affiliation of defendants, gang databases, search warrants, and the use of informants. Section 2 discusses the group dynamics of gang-related crimes and the associated legal concepts of conspiracy liability. Also considered are the ways that investigators can respond to crime scenes with multiple participants, gang expert testimony related to group crimes, and dealing with those who aid and abet gang-related crimes. Section 3 contains guidelines for filing gang cases, which are likely to be the most complex cases filed by a prosecutor, Preparation for filing the case is described, along with further investigation that may be required, the decision regarding whether a case should be filed in juvenile or adult court, decisions about filing against accomplices/accessories, and filing issues specific to murder trials. Section 4 focuses on the presentation of the case, as it discusses witness issues, the presentation of gang-related evidence, issues in the admissibility of evidence, gang-related expert testimony, and jury-related issues specific to gang cases. The concluding section of the manual addresses sentencing issues in gang cases. Topics covered are sentencing issues during filing, alternatives to criminal filings, how filing in juvenile or adult court may impact sentencing, sentencing options for gang-related offenders, and appropriate conditions of probation for street-gang members. 4 exhibits

Date Published: July 1, 2009