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Family Violence Law - Case Study Example

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Family Violence Family violence is a huge social problem within many countries and the United States is no exception. Physical and psychological abuse often occurs as a result of family violence. In most family violence cases, the victim usually is the wife and the offender is the husband…
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Family Violence Law Case Study
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Download file to see previous pages This paper analyzes the arguments in favor of and against treating Marcia as guilty. The Case Marcia Norman, 39, and her husband, Mitchell, had been married for 25 years and had several children. Mitchell did not work. He forced Marcia to make money by prostitution, and he made fun of that fact before family and friends. He beat her if she resisted going to a truck stop and offering her body. On a few occasions, he made her eat out of the pets’ bowls and insisted that she bark like a dog. He threatened to kill or maim her numerous times.  Marcia and Mitchell got along very well when he was sober. But early one morning, he was intoxicated when he went to a highway rest area where Marcia was prostituting herself and assaulted her. He continued beating her all day after they got home. She called the police and was told to come in and file a complaint, but she was afraid that he would kill her if she had him arrested. She ingested a bottle of pills, then panicked and called EMS. Her husband cursed her as the paramedics treated her and urged them to let her die. After they left, Mitchell continued to slap, kick and throw objects at Marcia. At one point, he put a cigarette out on her upper torso, causing a small burn. After he fell asleep, Marcia took their baby to her mother’s so that she would not wake him, returned with a pistol and killed him.  At trial, Marcia pleads self-defense, which is defined as “the necessity, real or reasonably apparent, of killing an unlawful aggressor to save oneself from imminent death or great bodily harm” (Given Case). When we consider the case North Carolina v. Judy Ann Laws Norman, we can argue that Marcia is not guilty even though she killed her sleeping husband. Judy Norman suffered a lot from the hands of her husband. Her husband forced her into prostitution and when opposed, she suffered a great deal of physical and psychological abuse from her husband. It was difficult for her to defend herself when she and her husband were in a physical encounter. So she killed him while he was sleeping. “A three judge panel of the intermediate appellate court, in a unanimous opinion held that there was sufficient evidence to support a charge of reasonable self-defense” (Angel 21). The above verdict is applicable in the case of Marcia also. She had no other way to escape from the brutalities of her husband. It should be noted that Mitchel (husband), disrespected her individuality and identity and forced her to live in accordance with the guidelines given by him. He used his physical and domineering strength to attack her both physically and mentally. Mitchel was denying Marcia the right to live on an equitable level as him. If Marcia had failed to kill him, he would have killed her. Using the “Self-Defense” argument could be a reasonable defense within this case. Under these circumstances, Marcia can argue that she tried to save her life from a certain death. According to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito “self-defense is a basic right, recognized by many legal systems from ancient times to the present” (Killing in Self-Defense). “The general criminal law allows for the use of deadly force anytime a faultless victim reasonably believes that unlawful force which will cause death or grievous bodily harm is about to be used on him”(Hobart). Marcia believes that her life is in danger and her husband may kill her at any time. It is reasonable for Marcia ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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