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Document Type

Article

Media Type

Text

Abstract

Since the late 1970s, courts have been forced to deal with the question of whether and how the Battered Woman Syndrome can be used in a defense when a battered victim kills her abuser. The application of traditional self-defense law to these situations has proven problematic and resulted in a lack of uniformity regarding the disposition of these cases. When a theory seems incapable of dealing with situations for which it was purportedly developed, a reexamination of the theory is warranted. This comment focuses on whether imminence is a necessary condition in a claim of self-defense or if there are other legitimate ways to prove that a killing was necessary such that we, as a society, would consider it justified. This comment starts with an analysis of the relationship between imminence and necessity. And, after reviewing traditional imminence based self-defense law, and other doctrines which indicate that there is more to necessity than merely imminence, certain principles emerge. These principles are then applied to a claim of necessity arising in the context of a non-confrontational killing by a battering victim.

First Page

191

Last Page

218

Publication Date

5-1-2000

Department

College of Law

ISSN

0734-1490

Language

eng

Publisher

Northern Illinois University Law Review

Included in

Law Commons

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