“Does the Criminal Justice System have a gendered response towards Filicide when it comes to punishing the offender?”
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This essay will critically consider the differences between acts of male and female filicide and the difference in the response of the Criminal Justice System towards each gender. Filicide is the heinous act of killings one’s son or daughter and there are several different types of filicide as classified by Ania Wilczynski (1997) through analysing the motives within each case. These categories included; retaliation killings such as those motivated by jealousy of victim or rejection of the offender by the victim, altruistic killings or killings due the fact the child was unwanted, psychosis within the parent, killings secondary to sexual abuse or death caused to victim due to acts of discipline whether there was an intent to kill or not.…show more content… This type of retaliation killing is evident in the case of Mohammed. His wife left him after a pro-longed period of domestic abuse. He was a frequent drinker, gambler and drug-taker. After the separation, Mohammed set fire to his brother’s home where his wife and daughter were staying, and his daughter was incidentally killed. Mohammed had said he was ‘fed up’ of his wife and brother and suffering from immense mental pressures (Wilczynski,A: 169). Other common motivations include; jealousy of, or rejection by the victim, this usually occurs when the father believes he is not the child’s biological father or because the child favours the mother considerably more. Discipline killings are also common amongst men and these occur when the father has been disciplining the child and caused death from injuries sustained. A particular example of this is that of Allan. He shook his three year old son and repeatedly banged his head against a wall in a fit of temper. The child was being disobedient towards him prior to the killing and typical defences with these cases include the fact that there was no intention to kill (Wilczynski,A: 172). Typical methods associated with paternal filicide include aggressive actions such as assault or strangulation and research into the background of offenders show that men are more like to have been previously violent towards the child or the mother (when in a relationship).
“Accumulated research evidence suggests that [judges] treat women