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California, Prosecutorial discretion, Statutory Rape Vertical Prosecution Program, Structural factors, Intimacy, Peer, Predator, Statutory rape, Relationship status, Exploitation, Instrumental filing


This Article proceeds as follows. It begins in Part I by presenting the structural and case-based factors that scholars have identified as relevant to prosecutorial decision-making in the United States. Part II considers the existing social science research documenting the relationship between intimacy and criminal Justice treatment. Part III explains the empirical study of California prosecutors on which this Article's data and conclusions are based. After introducing California's statutory rape prosecution program in Part IV, the Article describes in Part V how the program's underlying rationale led to the development and deployment of prosecutorial assessments of intimacy and exploitation in the statutory rape caseload. Part VI describes prosecutorial motivations behind the intimacy discount, while Part VII concludes by reflecting on the implications of the intimacy discount, both for the populations it affects and for the longevity of a controversial criminal law.

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Emory Law Journal