Who's Who: Angel M. Woodruff

Monday, March 15, 2010
Angel Woodruff

First assistant prosecuting attorney with the Cape Girardeau County prosecuting Attorney's Office

WHERE SHE'S BEEN: Woodruff, 38, is originally from Jackson. She received her bachelor's degree from Southeast Missouri State University in 1994 and her juris doctorate from University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law in 1997. She formerly worked for the Missouri Attorney General Office. "In my job, each and every day can involve something different. I work in a great office with a great boss. We each review and file charges and handle cases in court on a daily basis. This involves quite a lot of interaction with law enforcement and people from our community," she says.

WHERE SHE'S GOING: In five years, Woodruff says "Professionally, I hope to be fortunate enough to be doing what I'm doing now. When it comes to growth and changes in her profession, Woodruff says, "We do not write the laws. Instead, we adjust to the changes the legislature and the courts makes to our laws and do the best we can each and every day. We deal with everything from horrible murders to littering and traffic offenses. While it would be great to not see any 'growth or expansion' in the criminal world, I'm fairly certain that is not a realistic hope. There will always be crime."

On making a difference in her community: "It would be great if the poplulation in general were more educated about the criminal process. It's not as black and white as it often sounds, and as prosecutors we are not allowed to make many comments to the public on pending cases. It would also be helpful to the community if they had a more realistic view of who some of the defendants actually are. For example, most people who victimize children are not the scary-looking strangers snatching the children off the street corner. Instead, they are people known to the child, such as family members, friends and adults with some sort of connection to the family of the child."

WHY SHE WAS CHOSEN: "Angel has spent much of her adult life working with rape victims, domestic violence victims and children who have been neglected or abused," says Cape Girardeau Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle, who nominated her. "On a daily basis, her work as a prosecutor makes a difference in the lives of women and children in Cape Girardeau County. Angel's dedication to helping women and children in crisis goes beyond simply doing her job as a prosecutor. She has been a board member of the Safe House For Women and has worked closely with the Network Against Sexual Violence in helping improve the way police and prosecutors handle crimes against women and children. Angel is a true professional. She stays current on all of the latest developments in criminal law, especially those that involve the prosecution of rape, domestic assault, and child abuse cases. She is an accomplished trial lawyer who can hold her own against the best criminal defense lawyers. She always strives to make the criminal justice system as user-friendly as possible to the victims. She is a recognized expert in domestic assault cases and has coauthored an article on that subject for the Journal of the Missouri Bar."

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