Because woman strike back at their abusers; battered woman’s syndrome has been used in courts as a plea when their actions were believed to be in self-defense (Hodell et. al, 2011). And when a battered woman kills her abuser, they must convince a jury of the rationality of her lethal actions to successfully advance a plea of self-defense (Schuller et al., 2004). When jurors believe that under the given circumstances a defendant’s behavior was justified under the law a jury can find a defendant not guilty by reason of self-defense (Hodell et al., 2011). Recent research in case’s of self-defense suggest that when using the battered women’s syndrome certain characteristics of the defendant could interfere with the accused sentencing (Russell, Ragatz, & Kraus, 2012).
In this analysis, I will attempt to cover the basis of Battered Women’s Syndrome as a legal defense. This will cover the historical context of Battered Women’s Syndrome as a legal defense, which will of course require a brief review of what battered women’s syndrome is by using experts in the field, usually psychologists. When reviewing the historical context of such a subversive topic, it is essential to the structure that we look at actual cases involving battered women such as abuse being reported and cases that have actually been brought to trial as well as the ending verdicts as the factors that may have caused the outcome. We must also look at different cases as to which the defense was used, such as situations where a battered women’s husband was sleeping, or any other relative situation as to which there was question of the imminence of a threat.
The standards of women and their rights have changed vastly over the years. In the 1800’s women were subject to whatever treatment a man felt necessary. Self-defense was not heard of and women did not dare stand up for themselves. In the modern age of today women have the right to be treated just like everyone else is, with respect. Although women have more rights in today’s society and have the right to stand up for themselves that does not mean abuse does not happen. Shocking statistics show that 1 woman is beaten by their partner approximately every 15 seconds in the United States alone and 1 and 3 women who are victims of homicide were murdered by their abusive partner. There are many laws against spousal abuse and abuse against women in general. Once the laws are put into action then comes the legal defense used in court. Battered Woman Syndrome is a physiological condition just like depression or mental insanity. It is a real condition that women suffer from because of long term periods of physical, physiological, and emotional abuse by there loved ones typically spouses. Many debates come from the topic of BWS and whether it should be a legal defense in court or not. Battered Woman Syndrome is a condition that is severe and should be accepted as a legal defense in court just as every other physiological defense is. Battered woman syndrome (BWS) is a mental disorder that develops in victims of domestic
The controversial concept of Battered Woman Syndrome (BWS) is a psychological theory that aims to explain the behavior of certain women who suffer abuse from their husbands, partners, or significant others. The theory was first proposed and introduced by Dr. Lenore Walker in the 1970’s based on her clinical observations. It then quickly became a common way to validate criminal behavior of women who were charged with the murder of their partner, however since the syndrome wasn’t confirmed through scientific research as a real disorder, it didn’t enjoy widespread support from the forensic psychologist’s community.
Domestic Homicide is the killing of one person by another within the household. Many cases of domestic homicide take place each year. A third of all murders are committed by women. There is also a forty-one percent chance that a woman was the murderer in a spouse murder trial (Dawson 1). Women should have their cases taken seriously and not with sympathy just because they are smaller and weaker than their counterpart. There are Laws and Protection Orders provided throughout the United States, so women should not have to deal with any type of violence or abuse. If they aren’t treated with violence, then there shouldn’t be any reason for women to try to kill their abusive husband. Women should be tried for murder of their
In our debate we discussed whether women are just as violent as men. The pro side of the debate said yes women are just as violent as men, and the opposing side said men are more violent than women. In the yes side of the debate violence was described as physical and emotional assaults. As in violent acts carried out with the intention of causing another person physical pain or injury, no matter whether actual injury occurs, and any unjust, cruel act, or maltreatment of another human being. In the no side of the debate violence was just described as physical assaults, and not emotional assaults. This paper will discuss both sides of the debate, and the pros and cons of the arguments made by both sides.
Question 4 - Assess the use of the defence of provocation in achieving justice for victims, offenders and society. (10 marks)
The reform on homicide in Corners and Justice Act 2009 is criticised as ‘a dog’s breakfast’, ‘all over the place’ and ‘beyond redemption’. Among other things, s.54-s.56 of CJA 2009 replaces old defence of provocation with a new partial defence including loss of control. This essay supports exclusion of sexual infidelity in s.55(6)(c). After setting out the general legislative background, this essay emphasises the difference between sexual infidelity and sexual jealousy, and then moves on to examine the morality attached to sexual infidelity the modern society. The extent of the exclusion and the interpretation of s.55(6)(c) in case law are also reviewed. Lastly, there is a comparative study between other jurisdictions and England in this specific area.
Violent crimes towards women have been an ongoing issue in American history. The National Institute of Justice and the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention worked together in 1996 to sponsor a National Violence Against Women Survey (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2014). They interviewed men and women eighteen years of age or older and were asked questions based on violent crimes.
January 30th changes were made to the crimes act (2000) to help stop one punch violence in Sydney’s CBD after a senseless act of violence took the life of a Sydney teen. The changes that were made, gives a harsher jail sentence if a life is taken, and if the attacker if intoxicated at the time there is a minimum sentence of eight years, this is only the second time in recent history a minimum sentence has been put in place. More transport out of the CBD was also put into place after the amendment was passed, to give a safe option home after a night out. Places that sell alcohol have also been effected by having to stop people from purchasing alcohol after a certain time.
In order for the Battered Woman Syndrome claim to be used expert testimony is essential. This is needed in order to give matter to the argument that justifies what the woman did. It is also needed because there needs to be an explanation of the Syndrome to juries, in away they can understand. Learned helplessness and other scientific knowledge need to be explained in order for the jury to understand. To understand what the woman is going through, what she was thinking at the time she committed the crime, and that she did it (murder her abuser) it because she honestly felt that it was the only solution in getting the “cycle of violence”. First, the women must show that she is able to prove either through her own testimony or through the testimony of other witnesses that she is a “battered woman”. She must then provide proof that the expert who she has chosen is qualified in the field. Some think that the defense based on Battered Woman Syndrome is an insanity defense, because of the experts who are brought in to explain the characteristics of the syndrome, psychologists or psychiatrists. Also because the word “syndrome” is often used to describe mental illnesses. “First her husband, now the courts”, is what one of the signs read at a march during
Scots Criminal Law recognises that sometimes people take the life of another due to a sudden temporary loss of self-control. In such circumstances where the perpetrator killed due to the fear of serious violence or discovery of sexual infidelity, being able to successfully prove that the perpetrator had been provoked to kill their victim is vital because the defence of provocation can mitigate a murder charge of murder to voluntary culpable homicide. In this essay, the discussion will involve assessing
Killing in self-defense is an action that some citizens find to be arguing about the moral correctness. By looking into a few aspects of the laws, ethics, morals and the value of life. Society may become more educated on the subject. Also, what can we do to change or lower situations that self-defense is needed? The two major sides of this battle are, one the mindset that a self-defense killing is ethically wrong and should not be done. The other side is the people that feel they have a right to defend themselves or their families from an aggressor. What side of the argument is correct? This may not be that clear of a choice. Among those restrictions is the requirement in most jurisdictions that the individual claiming self-defense cannot have provoked the conflict. (Moore 1)
The need for partial defence in murder cases has evolved through the common law and statue, in consideration of the weaknesses of the human mind to take control when faced with provocation and the challenges created by mental illness, which may result to serious violent. Court in England and Wales have experienced several difficulties in defining what “intention” (human mind) is in order to establish conviction for murder (R v Molony) 1985. This essay will therefore, discuss the need for partial defences to murder as “a buffer against the harsh effect of the mandatory life sentence for all cases of murder” in England and Wales.
Foucault’s Theory of Individual Power and Knowledge have allowed one to see the other side of arguments with more posing questions. Domestic Violence is now resulting in a spouse being labeled with the brand of “battered woman’s syndrome” and it opens the door for a many unanswered questions, and is debatable at best. In the case of Francine Hughes Wilson, “The Burning Bed” shed new light on the ever growing problems within a domestic abusive relationship and gave way to social change, knowledge and empowerment within such situations. One must question if “Battered Women’s Syndrome” is a mental illness or an excuse for murder without consequences due to a momentary lapse of judgment.