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National Crime Victim Law Institute

Protection From Intimate Terrorism

June 01, 2017

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Last month, NCVLI, joined by the Oregon Crime Victims Law Center and Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, filed an amicus brief in the Oregon Supreme Court.  In the case, defendant appealed his conviction for assault on a domestic partner arguing that the trial court erred in allowing the State to introduce improper propensity (to commit bad acts) evidence in the form of defendant’s prior convictions of domestic violence.  NCVLI argued that intimate terrorism is motivated by an abuser’s desire to dominate and it manifests in controlling, terrorizing and battering patterns.  When the science of intimate terrorism’s repetitive nature is understood, prior acts of violence are properly viewed as proof of motive and admissible under Oregon Evidence Code 404(3).  OEC 404(3) affords trial courts discretion to admit evidence of prior crimes or other wrongs when offered as proof of motive.  The case is pending. We will keep you posted.

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