Sentencing Those Who Killed Their Sexual Intimates: An Australian Study
International Journal of the Sociology of Law, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 189-218., 1993
30 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2010 Last revised: 18 Jun 2018
Date Written: 1993
The principal aim of the following paper is to closely scrutinise the judges' remarks in each of 56 cases of homicide between adult sexual intimates in order to identify, if possible, which variables contribute to more lenient sanctions and which factors appear to correlate with harsher sentences. In addition, what do the remarks show about judges' beliefs concerning gender roles and stratification? In the same vein, another goal is to attempt to understand both how the judges regard domestic violence and its role in the consequent homicide and to supplement or question their interpretation with a discussion of what some theorists and workers in the area regard as the dynamics of wife battering and its impact on the victims who kill. Is it true that without the expert witness, it is difficult for the jury to consider the battered women's actions as self-defence since the knowledge of what is reasonable for a battered victim has been found, both through survey research and by courts in the US, as beyond the ken or the understanding of the average juror.
Keywords: sexual homicide, domestic violence
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