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Amanda J Peters

Criminal Procedure

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Reconsidering Federal And State Obstacles To Human Trafficking Victim Status And Entitlements, Amanda J. Peters Apr 2015

Reconsidering Federal And State Obstacles To Human Trafficking Victim Status And Entitlements, Amanda J. Peters

Amanda J Peters

Federal and state anti-trafficking laws describe the victim in the process of criminalizing the act of human trafficking. Nearly half of all states adopt the federal definition of victim, which requires proof of forced, defrauded or coerced labor, whereas the other half narrows this definition thereby limiting the number of victims qualifying for state victims services. Using this definition, victims must prove their status before they can access victim entitlements. Even when victims prove their status, they may be denied traditional crime victim benefits like restitution and Crime Victim Compensation funds. In this way, their victim status may be rendered …


Modern Prostitution Reform And The Return Of Volitional Consent, Amanda J. Peters Feb 2014

Modern Prostitution Reform And The Return Of Volitional Consent, Amanda J. Peters

Amanda J Peters

For decades, prostitution laws in America have focused exclusively on contractual consent: the agreement to exchange sexual services for a fee. Courts and legislatures alike ignored volitional consent, or traditional mens rea, by concentrating on the offer and acceptance of the prostitution agreement. In this way, the law disregarded the actor’s choice to engage in the crime. The de facto strict liability nature of the offense rendered it nearly impossible for prostitutes to successfully raise the defenses of duress and necessity. The failure of the law to distinguish between voluntary and involuntary prostitution resulted in charges, trials, and convictions …