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Georgetown University Law Center

Self-defense

2001

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Self-Defense And Subjectivity, Victoria Nourse Jan 2001

Self-Defense And Subjectivity, Victoria Nourse

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The law of self-defense has rarely produced as much academic or popular heat as it has in the past two decades. Widely publicized trials, such as the Goetz and Menendez cases, have generated deep-seated fears of a law unmoored from principle. Those fears have generated a standard public critique--that the criminal law has become too soft and subjective, too wedded to syndrome science and prone to weak-kneed affection for defendants. The criminal law has lost its "objectivity," so the argument goes. The poster child, and even the alleged cause of this development, is the battered woman.

In this article, the ...