Psychological self‐defense jury instructions: Influence on verdicts for battered women defendants

Jessica P. Greenwald, Alan J. Tomkins, Mary Kenning, Denis Zavodny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ewing (1987) has proposed a new legal doctrine called ‘Psychological Self‐Defense,’ which is intended to provide a legal justification for a killing committed under the threat of extremely serious psychological injury. This study examines the effect of such an affirmative defense on the verdict in two vignette cases in which a battered woman killed her abuser. One‐hundred ninety‐six subjects issued verdicts after reading the case vignettes and a series of jury instructions which varied by self‐defense instruction (Psychological Self‐Defense Only, Physical Self‐Defense Only, Psychological and Physical Self‐Defense, or none of these). Only Psychological Self‐Defense instructions significantly influenced verdict patterns, primarily by shifting would‐be voluntary manslaughter convictions to acquittals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-180
Number of pages10
JournalBehavioral sciences & the law
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

Fingerprint

Battered Women
Psychology
instruction
homicide
doctrine
threat
Reading
Wounds and Injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Law

Cite this

Psychological self‐defense jury instructions : Influence on verdicts for battered women defendants. / Greenwald, Jessica P.; Tomkins, Alan J.; Kenning, Mary; Zavodny, Denis.

In: Behavioral sciences & the law, Vol. 8, No. 2, 01.01.1990, p. 171-180.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Greenwald, Jessica P. ; Tomkins, Alan J. ; Kenning, Mary ; Zavodny, Denis. / Psychological self‐defense jury instructions : Influence on verdicts for battered women defendants. In: Behavioral sciences & the law. 1990 ; Vol. 8, No. 2. pp. 171-180.
@article{4feed0ef5ad4447b908133201c2a216a,
title = "Psychological self‐defense jury instructions: Influence on verdicts for battered women defendants",
abstract = "Ewing (1987) has proposed a new legal doctrine called ‘Psychological Self‐Defense,’ which is intended to provide a legal justification for a killing committed under the threat of extremely serious psychological injury. This study examines the effect of such an affirmative defense on the verdict in two vignette cases in which a battered woman killed her abuser. One‐hundred ninety‐six subjects issued verdicts after reading the case vignettes and a series of jury instructions which varied by self‐defense instruction (Psychological Self‐Defense Only, Physical Self‐Defense Only, Psychological and Physical Self‐Defense, or none of these). Only Psychological Self‐Defense instructions significantly influenced verdict patterns, primarily by shifting would‐be voluntary manslaughter convictions to acquittals.",
author = "Greenwald, {Jessica P.} and Tomkins, {Alan J.} and Mary Kenning and Denis Zavodny",
year = "1990",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1002/bsl.2370080209",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "8",
pages = "171--180",
journal = "Behavioral Sciences and the Law",
issn = "0735-3936",
publisher = "John Wiley and Sons Ltd",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Psychological self‐defense jury instructions

T2 - Influence on verdicts for battered women defendants

AU - Greenwald, Jessica P.

AU - Tomkins, Alan J.

AU - Kenning, Mary

AU - Zavodny, Denis

PY - 1990/1/1

Y1 - 1990/1/1

N2 - Ewing (1987) has proposed a new legal doctrine called ‘Psychological Self‐Defense,’ which is intended to provide a legal justification for a killing committed under the threat of extremely serious psychological injury. This study examines the effect of such an affirmative defense on the verdict in two vignette cases in which a battered woman killed her abuser. One‐hundred ninety‐six subjects issued verdicts after reading the case vignettes and a series of jury instructions which varied by self‐defense instruction (Psychological Self‐Defense Only, Physical Self‐Defense Only, Psychological and Physical Self‐Defense, or none of these). Only Psychological Self‐Defense instructions significantly influenced verdict patterns, primarily by shifting would‐be voluntary manslaughter convictions to acquittals.

AB - Ewing (1987) has proposed a new legal doctrine called ‘Psychological Self‐Defense,’ which is intended to provide a legal justification for a killing committed under the threat of extremely serious psychological injury. This study examines the effect of such an affirmative defense on the verdict in two vignette cases in which a battered woman killed her abuser. One‐hundred ninety‐six subjects issued verdicts after reading the case vignettes and a series of jury instructions which varied by self‐defense instruction (Psychological Self‐Defense Only, Physical Self‐Defense Only, Psychological and Physical Self‐Defense, or none of these). Only Psychological Self‐Defense instructions significantly influenced verdict patterns, primarily by shifting would‐be voluntary manslaughter convictions to acquittals.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0025007771&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0025007771&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1002/bsl.2370080209

DO - 10.1002/bsl.2370080209

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0025007771

VL - 8

SP - 171

EP - 180

JO - Behavioral Sciences and the Law

JF - Behavioral Sciences and the Law

SN - 0735-3936

IS - 2

ER -