First I would like to address the definition of Battered Woman Syndrome. Battered Woman Syndrome (BWS) is a condition often used by the defense in cases like this one to relieve the defendant of some or all guilt. This disorder occurs in people who have suffered long-term, severe domestic abuse. It is characterized by feelings of guilt, helplessness, worthlessness, and a perceived inability to control one 's own situation. It also tends to manifest itself in 4 stages: denial, guilt, enlightenment, and responsibility. [Slide #4] In the denial stage, the BWS sufferer refuses to admit that she is being abused, justifies the beating with external reasons to relieve the perpetrator of blame, tells others that her injuries are a result of accidents, and convinces herself that these violent episodes will not be repeated. The guilt stage can be recognized by the self-blaming of the victim and her belief of the batterer’s severe criticism of her; in this stage, the batterer has pretty much succeeded in controlling the others thoughts and actions. [Slide #5] In the last two stages, the sufferer begins to overcome many symptoms listed above. Stage three is enl...
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Donna should not be acquitted just because there is expert testimony claiming that she was suffering side effects of abuse. The defendant had a clear mind at the time of the incident, as indicated by her ability to infer his intentions and conclude to hide his gun, then use it against him. If she was actually suffering from OBW she wouldn’t have been able to plan out how she would kill him. Hiding the gun from Clinton before he got home was a smart move for her that she wouldn’t have been able to do without clear intentions of what she wanted to accomplish. When he got home and realized the gun wasn’t in its usual spot, he knew she had grabbed it. She thought ahead of Clinton and was smarter than he expected. That indicates that she wasn’t affected by OBW. She wouldn’t have been able to pull this off if she didn 't have a clear intent of killing her husband.
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