Friday, December 13, 2013

Prof makes bizarre plea to place battered women above the law

Elizabeth Sheehy is a law professor who's book on battered women
who kill their abusive male partners will be published Dec. 15.
When ideology takes up the brain space normally reserved for reason and the golden principle of equality under the law, the very best minds can go AWOL.

That seems to be the case with University of Ottawa law professor Elizabeth Sheehy, whose new book, Defending battered Women on Trial, will be released Dec 15. Professor Sheehy’s thesis is that women who experience extreme chronic abuse from their male partners should have the right to kill them pre-emptively — in their sleep, say, or when they least expect it — without fear of being charged with murder. Murder involves a mandatory minimum — 25 years for first degree murder and 10 for second-degree — and this, according to Sheehy, constitutes a “huge, huge barrier” to such women.

Sheehy’s solution is a “statutory escape hatch” that would preclude mandatory minimum sentences. In fact, Sheehy would prefer battered women be charged with manslaughter, in which case they could argue self-defence “without bearing the onerous consequence of failure.”  (more...)

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