U.s v dominique stephens case study sample

I will rely on 22-2403 regarding second-degree murder
I will also rely on the evidence presented by an expert in Battered woman syndrome, Mrs. Dominique Stephens and a doctor, Sidney, who works at the emergency services. Mrs. Dominique’s evidence will show that she has been suffering from battered woman syndrome. The expert witness in battered woman syndrome will corroborate Dominique’s evidence and proof that she was suffering from the syndrome at the time when she shot her husband. The expert studied the defendant for one month and affirmed that she is suffering from battered woman syndrome. His evidence should be admitted in court according to the rules of evidence as an expert witness. Accordingly, the doctor will give evidence regarding the past contacts with the defendant, which will further corroborate the fact that she was being battered by her husband at different occasions. His evidence is also admissible as a specialist or as an expert witness because he is a doctor. His evidence will explain the fact that there was abuse in the past, and the defendant tried to seek for help, and perhaps her ultimate action in shooting her husband. His evidence will corroborate both Mrs. Stephens’s evidence and the expert evidence regarding battered woman syndrome.

Self defense

My defendant acted in self-defense as she had reasons to believe that her life was in imminent danger. The defendants’ statements show that her husband used to throw her on the floor and kick her in the head. She was in fear of being killed by her husband, even with bruises all over her body; she could not report to the police. At the eve of her husband’s death, she had reasons to believe that she was in imminent danger of death from her husband’s shooting as he threatened to shoot her and her kids. She shot him in self –defense because if she did not shoot him; she could have been shot. Her husband’s threats were real as he always acted upon his threat. Moreover, evidence shows that he just acted without thinking every time he was drunk. Therefore, her actions are lawful, and I will rely on the case of Thomas v. United States (New. Col. App. 1984)

Battered woman syndrome (BWS)

Battered woman syndrome evidence should be admissible in this court and should be considered in making a judgment in explaining the self- defense used by the defendant. I will also rely on the Hawthorne v state judgment. Where it was held that battered woman syndrome testimony is admitted to show that since the woman was suffering from the syndrome, she believed that it was reasonable for her to stay at home. It was also reasonable for her according to the symptoms to believe that she and her children were in imminent danger at the time of shooting (Ogle, 137).
BWS is a mental disorder which develops from long-term abuse in victims of domestic violence. It leads to psychological paralysis and learned helplessness. The victim becomes passive and depressed and defeated and becomes incapable of leaving the situation. This fear is real to the victim, though it may seem like irrational fear to someone else. There is always a continuous cycle of abuse as the victim is weak and fearful and always holding on to the abuser hoping that the abuser will stop hurting her; thus strengthening the BWS.

The symptoms of BWS according to Walker’s research: –

– The battered woman holds herself responsible for the abuse and does not blame the abuser.
– The woman is always concerned and in fear regarding her safety
– The battered woman has an irrational belief that if she contacts the authorities or other people she will be killed or the abuser will hurt her if she attempts to seek any help.
Many states consider BWS as a legitimate mental disorder. This syndrome is always considered when a woman kills or hurts the abuser as a mitigating circumstance. This disorder is always used as a mitigating circumstance for the battered woman and to show the state of mind. Therefore, I plead the court to consider the defendant as a woman suffering from BWS while she committed the act.
I will rely on the case of Austin V United States (New. Col. Cir. 2002) there was a sudden heat of passion when the offense was committed by the defendant. At the time of the offense, she feared that he would gun down her and her kids. She usually does not react when her husband hits her, but this time she believed he was going to kill her kids and her. He threatened her and said she was going to regret, and he was going to kill her and her brats. These were enough to trigger her fear to think she was in imminent danger; he even used his fingers like a gun to show her exactly what he intended to do. The defendant is not supposed to wait until her husband killed her, so she lawfully defended herself.
I will also rely on United States v Morris (New. Col. Cir., 2003)” Leg where the court held that manslaughter is the killing of a human being without malice.  The defense will also rely on the case of Hurt v. United States (New. Col. 2001) in provocation. I will plead the court to reduce the sentence to manslaughter as the defendant acted without reflection but just on an impulse, loss of self-control and heat of passion regarding what was happening at the time. I submit that the defendant had no malice during the act.

Closing remarks

The last beatings before the defendant shot the husband were bad and triggered provocation and extreme reasonable fear to the defendant. The accused was forced to do what was reasonable and necessary to defend herself and her children, and to prevent unlawful termination of their lives. Therefore, the defendant was under some duress to shoot her husband. It is because her husband created some sort of situation making it necessary for her to commit a homicide. Hence, while acting in self-defense, the battered woman syndrome made her act in a way that is reasonable to a person with such mental disorder. Hence, she should be acquitted as there is a prima facie case regarding BWS.

Works cited

Ogle, Robbin S, and Susan Jacobs. Self-defense and Battered Women Who Kill: A New
Framework. Westport, Conn: Praeger, 2002. Print.