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Domestic Violence Readings

April 14:

April 16:

Written Assignment (due April 16): Answer all parts of the following question fully; when referring to the readings, cite properly, including page numbers.

Create a hypothetical case in which a woman who has been battered for some time by an abusive husband finally kills him when he is in a vulnerable position (asleep, drunk, etc.). Then explain how you, as her lawyer, would argue her case by claiming that she acted in self-defense. Cite precedents from previous cases in which self-defense was considered applicable even though there did not appear to be an immediate threat to the woman's life. Bring in Elizabeth Schneider as an expert witness on the "battered woman syndrome" and Martha Mahoney as an expert on "separation assault." Then predict how the jury will respond to your case, explaining why you think this is the likely response.

Additional Links on Domestic Violence

Women and Law Syllabus
January 1998