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Criminal justice system

St. Mary's University

1988

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Skeleton In The Closet: The Battered Woman Syndrome, Self Defense, And Expert Testimony, Victoria M. Mather Jan 1988

The Skeleton In The Closet: The Battered Woman Syndrome, Self Defense, And Expert Testimony, Victoria M. Mather

Faculty Articles

The criminal justice system must deal fairly, through the use of expert testimony, with the battered woman who strikes back at her abuser with deadly results. Society-at-large does not understand the battered woman, the batterer, and their relationship; historically, the criminal justice system’s response to the predicament of the battered woman has been ineffective.

The use of expert testimony in homicide cases where an allegedly battered wife kills her abuser and then claims self-defense is a controversial proposition. The evidence, however, shows that women are frequently the victims of abuse, that patterns of behavior associated with battering relationships usually ...