Last week, John Michael Farren, a former White House lawyer, stood in a Stamford, Conn., courtroom and pleaded not guilty to a series of charges related to an alleged attack on his wife. Among them: attempted murder, first-degree assault and first-degree strangulation.

There is nothing novel about the first two. But the strangulation charge is a relatively new one in Connecticut and across the country, one created specifically to deal with the epidemic of domestic violence.

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