Sunday, September 30, 2012

NJ seeks closed circuit testimony in DV cases

A New Jersey Assembly panel unanimously approved a measure that would permit domestic violence vitim's to testify against their abusers via closed circuit television if a judge decides victims “would suffer severe emotional or mental distress if required to testify in open court,” reported

Currently, only child sex abuse victims can testify in that fashion in New Jersey.

The measure drew concern from Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi, R-River Vale, who said the bill is “potentially problematic” and could infringe on defendants’ constitutional rights to confront witnesses against them in court.

Another Assemblyman, agreed, saying “it would be an interesting case to argue” in court.

But Sandy Clark of the New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women said the bill was important to “ease the trauma” of domestic violence victims and encourage them to speak out against their abusers.

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