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View Diary: DA Angela Corey Now Seeks 60 Years Against Marissa Alexander In 2nd Trial (227 comments)

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  •  I've noticed the number of comments (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tobendaro, OleHippieChick

    that focus on the racial aspects only of this miscarriage of justice.  I agree wholeheartedly race plays a crucial role in this, especially in the deep south.

    But I'm discouraged that so many are focusing on only, or mainly, on THAT aspect, instead of the -gender- aspect.  I'm sorry, but my personal opinion is if the same situation occured in a white couple's relationship, the outcome would have been similar, if not exactly the same.

    All over the country, but especially in those states with right wing/christianist legislatures (and I'm in one), women are among the lowest in their hieararchy.  Just like with race, it's like these "holier-than-thous" have made it their mission in life to reclaim and set in stone the white male power structure over everyone who is different from them - and that includes women, especially those who dare cross them.  They like nothing more than to oppress the oppressed; and few are as oppressed as an abused woman with children.

    Just my opinion as an abuse survivor; YMMV.

    •  As a fellow abuse survivor, I'd debate that. (0+ / 0-)

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      by mwm341 on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:44:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  My criminal law professor was a former Crown (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BMScott, SlightKC

      prosecutor in Toronto and excellent storyteller.  One commonly cited case (I'll never remember the actual citation) that comes up frequently in law school discussions on self defense came out of North Carolina, where the facts were largely undisputed.  Decades ago (1950s or 1960s most likely) an older couple lived together; the relationship was long publicly known to be abusive, and she even at times tried to leave the home but her husband would physically and violently stop her.

      It being North Carolina, a gun was kept in the home - which she was threatened with at times, to my memory - and, after decades of violent physical abuse, one late night she decided that she couldn't take any more of the abuse and, while her husband was sleeping, she took the gun and killed him in a single shot.  It was the only time that she had either the courage or physical capacity to act.  But, because he was asleep and thus she was not at risk of imminent physical harm, she was legally guilty of first-degree murder.

      It's hard to unwind that policy.  Indeed, he was sleeping and thus was not going to imminently harm her, but based on decades of pattern and practice, he was going to harm her again sooner or later, be it that morning or in a week.  But we also can't decriminalize all killings based on the defendant's reasonable belief that some form of harm may come in the indefinite future - that's why we have police and courts, restraining orders and confidential women's shelters.

      The takeaway?  The "ethics" of abusive situations don't fit neatly into the outlines of criminal law that we have used for hundreds of years.  I wish there was a way to codify that without unintentionally legalizing vigilantism, although I have heard some interesting academic discussions about the idea of giving an abused person the same sort of legal shelter that we give a person who committed a crime due to mental illness; after all, domestic abuse has a tendency to severely damage a person's mental health and can disrupt and inhibit the decision-making process.  But that's liable to result in a backlash similar to the backlash against insanity claims that started with Reagan's attempted assassination.

      "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

      by auron renouille on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:16:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  that is where the prosecutor can make choices (0+ / 0-)

        of course. Such as, not seeking a 60 year sentence? It isn't enough, but it is something. One main reason we think this prosecutor is a horror.

        Your comment is very interesting, though.

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