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April 26, 2023

"Gender, Violence, and the Death Penalty"

The title of this post is the title of this new article available via SSRN authored by Sandra Babcock and Nathalie Greenfield. Here is its abstract:

This article undertakes the first and only comprehensive analysis of gender-based violence (“GBV”) in the lives of all women currently on death row.  We examine the prevalence of GBV and how it has shaped the lives and affected the criminal prosecutions of women facing execution.  Our research reveals, for the first time, that almost every woman on death row in the United States has experienced GBV and that the great majority have experienced multiple incidents of GBV.

Further, our research shows that both in the United States and around the world, defense attorneys frequently fail to present evidence of GBV in women’s capital trials.  When they do introduce such evidence, they fail to fully explain the nature of their clients’ victimization and the harm they have suffered as a result.  Moreover, we show that prosecutors frequently rely on gendered tropes to discredit women’s accounts of violence such as childhood sexual abuse, rape, and intimate partner violence.  Consequently, those who sentence women to die rarely comprehend the extensive trauma that the women have endured throughout their lives, and how that trauma relates to their legal and moral culpability.

April 26, 2023 at 04:40 PM | Permalink


Men are already discriminated against by the system as they make up an overwhelming majority on death row. Equity dictates that we need to increase the number of women on death row until they reach 51%.

It’s only fair.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Apr 26, 2023 8:34:14 PM

Equity dictates we abolish capital punishment. It's only fair.

Posted by: Anon | Apr 27, 2023 9:59:37 AM

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