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Domestic violence

2006

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Intimate Homicide: Gender And Crime Control, 1880-1920, Carolyn B. Ramsey Jan 2006

Intimate Homicide: Gender And Crime Control, 1880-1920, Carolyn B. Ramsey

Articles

The received wisdom, among feminists and others, is that historically the criminal justice system tolerated male violence against women. This article dramatically revises feminist understanding of the legal history of public responses to intimate homicide by showing that, in both the eastern and the western United States, men accused of killing their intimates often received stern punishment, including the death penalty, whereas women charged with similar crimes were treated leniently. Although no formal "battered woman's defense" existed in the late 1800s and early 1900s, courts and juries implicitly recognized one--and even extended it to abandoned women who killed their ...