North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper wants legislators, law enforcement agencies and court officials to mount an organized attack on domestic violence by improving resources and strengthening the state’s laws.
Cooper spoke after The Raleigh News & Observer reported that at least 73 women, children and bystanders were killed in the state last year as a result of domestic violence. More than half of those accused had been in court to face previous domestic violence allegations.
A series in the newspaper showed wide disparities in the handling of misdemeanor domestic violence charges across the state. The newspaper studied the disposition of 238,000 misdemeanor charges from January 1997 to October 2002. The review found that many cases received scant attention from police, prosecutors and judges; only a third of the charges ended in conviction, and more than half were dismissed.
A spokeswoman for Gov. Mike Easley said the governor favors stronger domestic violence laws.
“There is more to be done,” said spokeswoman Cari Boyce. “[Easley] believes in zero tolerance for domestic violence and will work with the General Assembly and law enforcement to strengthen our domestic violence laws.”