Mad Women and Desperate Girls: Infanticide and Child Murder in Law and Myth
University of New Mexico - School of Law
Fordham Urban Law Journal, Vol. 33, No. 2, 2006
I begin this article with a comparison between the stereotype dominated understanding of infanticide and child homicide in the United States and the statistical landscape it obscures. I then turn to the history of the crime of infanticide, a history which confirms that a fascination with deviant women has long dominated the story of infanticide. The article concludes with the exploration of what I call the "Good Mother Defense." That exploration reveals the extent to which the fate of a woman tried for child homicide hinges on whether the jury sees her as a good mother, rather than on the prosecutors' ability to prove the elements of the crime charged.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 43
Date posted: September 15, 2011