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View Diary: Zimmerman has a Message for MSNBC (126 comments)

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  •  Sure. (9+ / 0-)

    From 2001:

    Although women are less likely to be involved in homicide than men, they tend to receive longer sentences for that crime, even if committed in self-defense. Women are more likely to harm their male partners than to kill anyone else. Men are more likely to perpetrate homicides against individuals outside their own relationships. Still, men’s rate of murder against female partners is nearly double the rate of women murdering male partners. According to several authors on the issue of violence against women, homicide by women is often a response to preceding years of abuse from men.

    Annually, more than two million women are battered by male partners. Battered women who attempt to leave abusive relationships are often attacked and threatened with murder or more violence. Battered women who resort to homicide have often tried repeatedly to obtain protection from their abusers. The same legal system that fails or refuses to protect battered women, prosecutes them vigorously when they fight back.

    Angela Brown, a social psychologist who has conducted research in this area, concludes, "Women often face harsher penalties than men who kill their partners."

    A more recent example from the U.K.:
    The Guardian's Julie Bindel... writes that while British men who kill their wives often use the defense of "provocation" to reduce their sentences to manslaughter, women who kill abusive husbands or boyfriend are often convicted of murder. She contrasts the case of Sara Thornton, who killed her husband after he repeatedly beat her, with that of Joseph McGrail, who kicked his common-law wife to death. A judge in Thornton's case said she should have "walked out or gone upstairs" instead of killing her husband; she was sentenced to life in prison. The judge in McGrail case, meanwhile, expressed "every sympathy" for him, and said his wife "would have tried the patience of a saint." He got a two-year suspended sentence.
    I have read more recently about the disparities in sentencing in the U.S., but they were in the context of ongoing research, so I don't have a citation.

    © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

    by cai on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 05:50:24 PM PDT

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