June 28, 2009

Sentencing discounts for women?

There are several studies that have found that, when men and women with equal criminal histories are charged with the same crime, men get the more severe sentence. One such study found that sex played the greatest role in sentencing disparities - even greater than race. That's the female sentencing discount.

This the latest from the MRA's... So Petunia has done her own research on this issue. She came up with some rather interesting tidbits to share.


Gendered Justice
Domestic Homicide and the Death Penalty
Jill Theresa Messing
School of Social Work, Arizona State University, Phoenix, Jill.Messing@asu.edu

John W. Heeren

Department of Sociology, California State University, San Bernardino, jheeren@csusb.edu

This research examines a newspaper sample of men and women who killed multiple people in a single domestic altercation during the years 1993 to 2002. As all these perpetrators of multiple domestic homicide are eligible to be capitally tried, differences in capital sentencing are examined using bivariate statistics and descriptive, case-oriented analyses. Women who kill their children using a knife or firearm are disproportionately sentenced to death, whereas men who kill in the context of a separation are granted leniency in regard to the death penalty. The interaction between the gender of the offender and the crime committed is discussed.

Or how about this one:


Going easy on men who kill partners
Monday, May 14, 2007 Tania Tetlow

Everette Simpson married three times, and three times he murdered his wife. Simpson stabbed his first wife 16 times with a butcher knife and then served nine years in prison. He stabbed his second wife with a hatchet, was allowed to plead guilty to manslaughter and served 11 years before being paroled. Last month in Slidell, Simpson beat his third wife and her brother to death and then set the house on fire to conceal the murders. He died in the fire, so at least he won't be released and marry again.

Sheriff Jack Strain asked how a "monster" like this could have been free to kill again. The answer is simple -- the national average sentence for men who kill their female partners is two to six years in prison. Criminal justice systems and juries do not, on average, treat the murder of women by their husbands terribly seriously.

In contrast, women who kill their male partners are sentenced to an average of 15 years, three times as much as male defendants, despite the fact that many of these women killed in self-defense.

Women in abusive relationships find themselves trapped. They know that the system will not, or sometimes cannot, protect them from husbands who promise to track them down and kill them. Ashley Ruffins was stabbed to death last year after the police in both Orleans and Jefferson parishes failed to answer her repeated begging to enforce a protective order. Even when the police respond immediately, as they did in Mandeville last month, they could not protect Adrienne McGee from being shot down in the middle of the street in broad daylight.

But if these women try to save their own lives, fight back and end up killing their batterers, they often face life sentences in prison. Their children are effectively orphaned. Three recent New Orleans trials, all held in the same month, illustrate this fact:...

I also found numerous "men's websites" claiming women receive a sentencing discount versus men. I guess we are back at "he said, she said" again. Sadly the only winner in that scenario in today's world is the one with the money. So I guess that would be the man.....

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