Criminal Law

Read “Can a Defendant Who Lies About her Role in Spousal Homicide Still Raise a “Battered Woman’s” Defense?”, and answer the questions below.
The Illinois Appellate Court, citing a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, says that “Perhaps we could never succeed in intelligibly defining the kinds of matter we understand to be embraced within the shorthand description of battered woman’s syndrome.” Why not?
Would you be able to formulate an effective legal description of battered woman’s syndrome? If so, what would it be?

Read “Is there a Meaningful Difference Between ‘Insanity’ and ‘Temporary Insanity’?”, and answer the questions below.
Miller claimed to be sane before and after the killing but insane during the time the crime was committed. His attorneys asked that, at the end of the trial, the jury be instructed on the issue of temporary insanity and that they be told that “regardless of its duration, legal insanity that existed at the time of the commission of the crime is a defense to the crime.” Why do you think that the trial court refused to give the jury instructions regarding the insanity defense, which the defendant wished to have communicated?
In this case, the appellate court reversed the defendant’s conviction and remanded the case for a new trial. On what basis was that decision reached? Do you agree that the appellate court should have reached such a decision? Why, or why not?
What does this case have to tell us about the difference between insanity and temporary insanity? Are differences between the two terms significant in cases such as this one? Why, or why not?

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