Justin Schneider and Jacob Anderson Go Free; Cyntoia Brown Does Not

Avatar

Sam Wilkinson

According to a faithful reader, I'm Ordinary Times's "least thoughtful writer." So I've got that going for me, which is nice.

Related Post Roulette

106 Responses

  1. Avatar Richard Hershberger
    Ignored
    says:

    I don’t disagree with a thing you have written, but this particular set of cases isn’t going to persuade anyone who isn’t already persuaded, what with the harsh sentence being for murder and the lenient sentences for lesser crimes. Simply as a matter of rhetoric, this set is not a great argument.Report

  2. Avatar Reformed Republican
    Ignored
    says:

    It is easy to pick cases to support a point, but you need more to show a “cultural failing.” You can easily pick cases to suggest that being abused lets a lady get away with murder:

    https://www.fox4now.com/news/local-news/domestic-abuse-issue-surfaced-in-acquittal-of-woman-on-trial-for-murder
    https://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/07/nyregion/barbara-sheehan-who-killed-husband-is-found-not-guilty-of-murder.html

    To be clear, I am not saying these cases were decided improperly, or that the ones in the post were reasonable sentences. However, I think you give too few points to make claims about them representing anything widespread.Report

    • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Reformed Republican
      Ignored
      says:

      @reformed-republican What is the exact number of cases you would need before you might start to suspect that there is a cultural failing at work here?Report

      • Avatar Reformed Republican in reply to Sam Wilkinson
        Ignored
        says:

        There is not an exact number of cases. A good start would be comparing cases where men are accused of murder to women being accused of murder across the nation. Show that women are being treated more harshly then men. That would get the conversation started.Report

        • Avatar Philip H in reply to Reformed Republican
          Ignored
          says:

          Except what you really need (for the statistical comparison to hold water) is the number of sexual crimes that led to murder cases in which each gender was convicted without offer of plea bargains or other leniency. I’m no legal scholar, but I surmise from available news coverage that the number of women indicted (much less convicted) in instances where they were the victims first of a sex crime (and as a 16 year old prostitute Ms. Brown most definitely was)is probably statistically higher then the number of men so indicted and convicted.

          But like we saw in the college swimmer rape case a couple of years ago – the prosecutor in the Andersen case is probably right. She would not likely have gotten a conviction of an otherwise “clean” (i.e. without criminal record) young white male for rape, since “nice” young white boys don’t rape women. Or so our collective societal mythology and current political pathos tells us.Report

          • Avatar Reformed Republican in reply to Philip H
            Ignored
            says:

            I’m no legal scholar, but I surmise from available news coverage that the number of women indicted (much less convicted) in instances where they were the victims first of a sex crime (and as a 16 year old prostitute Ms. Brown most definitely was)is probably statistically higher then the number of men so indicted and convicted.

            I could interpret this two ways, and I am not sure which is correct. Are you claiming that:
            1) Women are disproportionately indicted and convicted of murder after being a victim of a sex crime or
            2) When accused of committing murder after being a victim of a sex crime, women are more likely to be convicted and men are more likely to be acquitted?Report

        • @reformed-republican Why is murder the focus here? Especially in the aftermath of me offering examples of the law treating victims as if they do not matter, and their aggressors as if they need to be protected?Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Sam Wilkinson
            Ignored
            says:

            “Why is murder the focus here?”

            Well, let’s look at what you wrote in your post above:

            Johnny Mitchell Allen was a 43-year-old real estate broker and Army veteran. He met Cyntoia Brown at a Sonic Drive-In, where he agreed to pay her $150 for sex. She rode with him to his house. She shot him to death. Brown fled with guns, cash, and behind the wheel of Allen’s vehicle. Brown claimed she feared for her life; forensic evidence suggested that Allen was sleeping at the time he was shot.

            I added some emphasis that might explain why murder is the focus here.Report

            • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              @jaybird In all three examples, the Justice System was far more concerned with what happened to men: in the first two cases conspiring to protect rapists, and in the third to pursue justice for a rapist’s death. I think the idea that the thing we’re even considering discussing is murder, rather than the Justice System’s plainly misplaced priorities, is precisely the problem.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not sure how much emphasis we should put on forensic evidence.

                I am open to hearing arguments that we put too much on it.

                As for why we put more emphasis on murder than on rape, I guess it’s cultural. Are there other societies that put more emphasis on rape than on murder? Maybe we could try to be more like those cultures. Import more people from them to live here in the US.Report

              • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                @jaybird This isn’t a murder versus rape debate. The point is that assaulted women are ignored, no matter they’ve endured and no matter what they’re willing to endure, while their aggressors are given plea bargains and stern talkings to or, in Allen’s case, the fullest prosecution of his killing. Men keep mattering in these cases. Women don’t.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                Part of why these cases never seem to have neat side-by-side comparisons for easy debating purposes is that the sexes are asymmetrical.

                Women don’t and can’t just casually slap men around, can’t tower over them and intimidate them, and generally don’t use them for sexual sport.

                So we see cases where women use deadly violence in lieu of beating the man. The Burning Bed case comes to mind.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                You asked “Why is murder the focus here?”

                You mentioned the forensic evidence that he was shot while he was asleep.

                I pointed out that the forensic evidence was why murder was the focus in that case.

                If there was no other forensic evidence for what happened, only acknowledgment that there was an agreement to exchange money for sex, there is a presumption that the sex was consensual to some degree and you’ve got a situation where the forensic evidence is that the woman shot the guy in his sleep.

                Heck, back a million years ago when I took a Women’s Studies course (we were still debating whether Paglia was a feminist!) the professor told us that when a husband killed his wife, it was most often domestic violence that wasn’t intended to be murder and so got charged as 2nd degree murder. But when wives killed their husbands, they tended to do stuff like buy a big bottle of whiskey first and then shoot the husband when he was drunkenly sleeping… which made it murder one.

                That sort of thing hasn’t changed since 1992 and I’d be very interested in hearing why it should.Report

              • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                @jaybird A 16-year-old can’t consent to sex in Tennessee.

                As to your point about accidental versus intentional murder, it’s just the damndest thing in the world how well that works out for one side but not the other. It’s almost as though preferences the humanity of one group but not another. And it’s almost as though those advantages are enjoyed by the folks that tended to have written those laws.

                Perhaps though you can tell me why the law should be doing that?Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                Were Klaus Von Bulow or OJ Simpson tried for, as Jaybird called it, Domestic Violence? No, they were tried for Murder in the First because they were accused* of Premeditated Murder, meaning it was planned out. What the estimable Jaybird was noting was the pre part of this, which if I remember correctly is what moves something from second to first degree.

                Also note that those were two famous men, in which the patriarchy went full bore to convict of this most heinous crime. Also, note the sentencing disparity as reported by the Huffington Post.

                *Alleged because both of them were acquitted. I have my own thoughts about that.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                Are we pivoting to “legal definitions are really important”?

                I am not sure that that is where you want to go with this. If you’re uncomfortable with something as Paternalistic as “16 year olds cannot meaningfully consent to sex”, you could go with something SWERFy instead.

                As to your point about accidental versus intentional murder, it’s just the damndest thing in the world how well that works out for one side but not the other.

                This goes back to the importance of legal definitions.

                Killing someone unintentionally gets treated differently than planning to kill someone then following through on the plan.Report

              • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                @jaybird 1. Your position is that legal definitions are super important…except when it comes to laws about consent, which you find paternalistic? How does that work?

                2. My point is that those legal definitions are designed to benefit men. So a husband who was kicking the shit out of his wife but not intending to kill her (but did anyway) gets to say that and the justice system’s response is, “Well, as long as you weren’t intending to kill her while you were kicking the shit out of her.” No such luck for almost all women.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                1. Your position is that legal definitions are super important…except when it comes to laws about consent, which you find paternalistic? How does that work?

                No, my position is that if we want to rely on legal definitions, we’re going to be stuck using legal definitions.

                According to the evidence provided, I’d say that there is evidence that Allen engaged in statutory rape and that he was murdered while he slept and that the statutory rape victim who killed him was tried for murder instead of self-defense because she killed him when he was asleep.

                My point is that those legal definitions are designed to benefit men.

                You think that defining murder that is pre-meditated as being treated by the law as worse than murder that was incidental/accidental benefits men is because of premeditation rather than because it’s incidental/accidental?Report

              • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                @jaybird We’re not “stuck” using them. The law negotiates them constantly. In the three examples I provided, the law – all three times – tilted toward men, excusing two of them, and pursuing maximum justice for the third one (despite his own behavior).

                And that’s the part wherein we see the cultural rot of things being tilted wildly toward men. Take your premeditation example as but one perfect example. A woman gaining an advantage is considered premeditation; a man having that advantage and using it is excused away. Who benefits?Report

              • Avatar j r in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                Why the focus on gender? Seems that there are a couple-few other relevant differences between the two who got excused and the one who did not?Report

              • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to j r
                Ignored
                says:

                @j-r Do you think the two should have been excused?Report

              • Avatar j r in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                I am racking my brain trying to figure out how you got there from my comment.

                Let’s try this: If Cyntoia Brown were Cynthia Brown a runaway from an upper-middle class white family and the john she shot were a black or brown man, would Cynthia Brown be in jail for life right now?

                If the answer is no, then maybe this is about a lot more than gender.Report

              • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to j r
                Ignored
                says:

                @j-r I was interested in your answer. There is no doubting that underlying these stories, beyond the gender issue, are ones of race and class.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                A woman gaining an advantage is considered premeditation; a man having that advantage and using it is excused away.

                I don’t see “Murder in the 2nd Degree” as “having it excused away”.

                I see it as making distinctions between premeditated acts and acts that had bad outcomes incidentally/accidentally.

                Is it really your position that intent doesn’t really matter, only the outcome?Report

              • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                @jaybird “accidentally” is doing a hell of a lot of work here. “When I attacked my wife, I didn’t intend to kill her, but rather, just very badly injure her because she had dared to anger me. Anyway, you should definitely believe me about this.”

                So, yeah, I’m dubious about the idea of intent, and especially crediting the claims made by abusive people.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                Is “accidentally” the only term I used? If that’s the only word you saw me use, it might explain why you think it’s doing so much work.

                I’m dubious about the idea of intent, and especially crediting the claims made by abusive people.

                Well, keep in mind, the reason you give Cyntoia Brown so much credit involves the claims she made which communicates to you her intent.Report

              • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                @jaybird I give Cyntoia Brown credit because she was a child who was subject to horrific abuse. I differentiate between abusers and the abused. The law, as you’re describing it, rewards abusers, just so long as they (claim they) only meant to abuse, but not kill. That seems dubious on its face.

                Is it fair to say you think the outcome in the Cyntoia Brown case was just(ice)?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                I just did a quick google.

                Here’s what it said here:

                Brown said she was a teen prostitute and shot Allen, 43, because she thought he was reaching for a gun under his bed.

                The link that I found doesn’t mention the forensic evidence that suggested that Allen was sleeping at the time he was shot.

                I submit to you:

                That if the forensic evidence suggests that Allen was sleeping at the time he was shot, the forensic evidence does not comport with Cyntoia Brown’s story.

                Is it fair to say you think the outcome in the Cyntoia Brown case was just(ice)?

                I don’t think that justice is possible in this fallen world.

                Is it fair to say that you think that justice is, in fact, possible?Report

              • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                @jaybird Re: justice – it is fair to say that I think we can get much closer to something we might describe as justice than we do currently, but it would involve significant time and energy spent understanding our current system’s failures, and significant time and energy spent working to undo them.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                Lemme know how getting rid of “caring about intent” goes for you.Report

              • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                @jaybird The idea that, “He was only trying to savagely beat his wife, not kill her!” gets taken seriously is precisely the sort of legal failing that I’m talking about. Meanwhile, you seem to take that claim seriously. Why take a sociopath seriously?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s worse than that I make distinctions between 1st Degree Murder and 2nd Degree Murder. I’ve also toyed with the idea of abolishing prisons.

                My morality is truly otherworldly.

                Edit: I mean, if you would rather talk about me than about the distinctions that the law makes and has made for centuries.Report

              • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                @jaybird The point of the distinctions being made here is that they benefit some (abusers) but not others (their desperate victims). If you don’t see that as a failing, so be it.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                As failings go, I see it as a smaller failing than abandoning the legal concept of intent.

                Sort of like the distinction being made between Murder in the 1st Degree and Murder in the 2nd Degree.

                For what it’s worth, I think that there are cases where killing another person is justifiable (even morally justifiable) and, if I think about it, I come to the conclusion that those killings are more likely to be premeditated than not.

                Which brings us to discussions of vigilantism, I suppose.Report

              • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                @jaybird The legal concept of intent benefits survivors, and, perhaps most noxiously, abusive survivors, who are for some reason given credit for claims they made that go wholly against what they were known to have been doing. That, again, is a failing which extends benefits to the wrong folks.

                As for the idea of the abused woman killing her abuser being a vigilante, that is almost surely also the failing of a legal system which is designed to not take abuse seriously.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                Are there other things that it does?

                (Think carefully: it’s related to your second paragraph.)

                Oh, if we’re pivoting to criticizing the American legal system, I absolutely agree that our legal system has some horrible excesses and does some really awful stupid stuff.

                I think that we should allow affirmative defenses a lot more often than we actually do. “Hell yeah, I did it! And here’s why!”

                For some reason, the legal system really cracks down on these. You’ll have to ask the lawyers on the board about why it does.Report

              • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                @jaybird There is no doubting that there truly are accidental killings, where the individual involved did NOT intend to kill somebody. I’m extremely dubious that a man who is viciously abusing his wife, for example, would ever fit that profile. Again, the defense, “I was trying to viciously abuse her, not kill her!” is no defense at all, because it asks us to believe something that plainly is neither true nor defensible.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                And you think that my saying that such a killing is obviously 2nd Degree Murder according to the legal definition is *DEFENDING* it?Report

              • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                @jaybird No, I think the law is defending it, by going easier on that guy than it would on a wife who killed an abusive husband via the means you proposed earlier.

                That’s the criticism.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                Malice Aforethought” goes back to the 14th Century.

                I’d agree that making distinctions between types of murders could have unintended consequences that are unpleasant.

                Saying that the law is “defending” these unintended consequences strikes me as a mistake.

                As for stuff like the abused spouse killing her abuser, I think that there should definitely be affirmative defenses allowed more often than there are.

                You’ll have to ask the legal types on the board why they aren’t.Report

              • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                @jaybird 1. Revisiting our understanding of intent would still allow for distinction between the two while not rewarding abusive murders savvy enough to claim that her death was an accident.

                2. We know why the law doesn’t allow for those sorts of things: because it would empower the wrong people. The goal is to never endure what others are forced to. It’s classic conservatism in a nutshell.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                Revisiting our understanding of intent would still allow for distinction between the two while not rewarding abusive murders savvy enough to claim that her death was an accident.

                Please. I would love to see your proposal for a new understanding of intent. Please make it technical, however. Something that we can write in legislation that will make it interprable by judges and will result in the outcomes that you want.

                I would love to see a new and improved “Malice Aforethought”. It’s time, after all.

                We know why the law doesn’t allow for those sorts of things: because it would empower the wrong people.

                Yeah, now I *REALLY* want to see your new definition.Report

              • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                @jaybird If you make an intentional decision to do something to another person, you don’t get to claim that the resulting outcome was an “accident” or “unintended” or anything else. That seems extremely obvious and easy.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                So Cyntoia Brown’s act was 1st Degree Murder, according to this standard?Report

              • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                @jaybird It already is. (Although, in her case, extenuating circumstances ought to be considered: she was an abuse victim forced into sexual slavery, being routinely sold to adults.) In the case of an abuser, the extenuating circumstances are that the abuse was not intended to kill, which ought not be any excuse at all.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                At this point, I’m applying your standard to Cyntoia Brown. She shot him in the head when, the forensic evidence says, he was asleep. That means that, using your standard above, she can’t claim that she was in fear for her life or that there were any other extenuating circumstances, as far as I can tell.Report

              • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                @jaybird Right, which is part of the law’s failing that I’m criticizing. She wasn’t afforded anything for her situation. Prosecutors pursued the maximum available punishment for her.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                So you want that established in the law across the board for everybody?

                I suppose I could see that.Report

              • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                @jaybird Nothing mattered when it came to her: not that she was 16, not that she was being forced into prostitution, not that she had endured significant abuse, not that she was being routinely raped, nothing. Prosecutors dismissed all of that and pursued the most maximum penalty possible.

                Meanwhile, in two other cases, prosecutors said, “Ahh, no big deal, let’s go easy on these guys,” for no obvious reason beyond an apparent desire to go extremely easy on them.

                That’s the fundamental difference here.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                So we’re going to solve it by making it impossible for her to argue what was going through her head when she pulled the trigger in the first place.

                And we can not only call it “justice” we can question the bona fides of any who disagree with us that it is.Report

              • Avatar AFC in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                I couldn’t agree more!!! Her history of fights at school and the psychological evaluation in which the doctor stated she responded by speak/singing. I guarantee she was over medicated on her psych meds. The doctors report also states she has no self worth, which is a mo’fo to deal with, as I lost mine in 2009 after enduring 8 spinal surgeries and was unable to perform my job duties. I was only 34 years old. I was heavily medicated by a psychiatrist for 11 1/2 years, then the office closed without notice and most of the patients have been unable to retrieve medical records. I’ve been without mood stabilizers for Bipolar since March of 2018, and without my anxiety and ADHD meds since June of 2017. It was a hard 3-6 months, trying to stay in check without the meds. It was super rough, but I feel better today without meds than I’ve felt since 2009. I’ve figured out how to feel at peace, and only get anxiety a few days a week, compared to all day/every day. She also states she was molested and raped the majority of her life, by family and strangers. She had trust in nobody, yet her boyfriend/pimp earned her trust. She is clearly a victimReport

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                she was an abuse victim forced into sexual slavery, being routinely sold to adults

                RE: Brown
                At the moment we have a non-creditable story on what happened in that house; i.e. the unconscious man reached for a gun she presumably couldn’t know existed. Her wiki/film is heartbreaking… but if I’m reading it right, the guy she picked up and then killed wasn’t involved in any of that.

                The “burning bed” had an abused woman lash out at her abuser. This apparently is “gal in ‘burning bed’ stalks and kills someone else for money while high on drugs”.

                At the moment she’s in the same category as a carjacker who kills people as part of robbing them. I don’t see why (other than data error) she shouldn’t be. Lots of people who commit heinous acts have horrible, tear jerking back stories. Society still comes down hard on them.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Me_Facing_Life:_Cyntoia's_StoryReport

              • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                @dark-matter “guy she picked up” is the phrasing you wanted there?Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                They met and came to a price at a drive in and went back to his place. The way it reads there wasn’t a third party involved (a pimp for example) and they didn’t have a previous relationship. She lied to him about her age. He doesn’t seem to have forced her back to his place.

                I haven’t read anything suggesting he was trolling for a prostitute so it seems more likely that she was trolling for a client.

                Granted, there are other possibilities; Maybe the forty year old guy had a habit of hitting on every teenager in a public restaurant, maybe he knew her pimp, maybe he has some other dark history like serial killer, but what’s on the table is he’s a real estate guy and they crossed paths at a restaurant.

                And then he ended up shot in the back of his head while asleep. Thinking that she picked up him and not the reverse seems fairly reasonable.

                I get the whole “victim her whole life” aspect of this… but what we’ve got on the table suggests she was victimizer and not victim that night. If you have different reasoning or different info please spell it out.Report

              • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                @dark-matter She’s a 16 year old child, she cannot legally consent to sex, much less prostitution, he was a 40 year old man, he willing agreed to purchase sex, etc. Even she hadn’t also been the victim of a violent pimp – although she was that also – the idea that this adult was totally without agency, and was led astray by this child, is without merit. But the idea that the law would look at this man and conclude that he was the innocent victim is precisely the problem here. The law’s conclusions about how important men are, and about how all other concerns need to be considered as less than, is what drives this problem.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                She’s a 16 year old child, she cannot legally consent to sex…

                Are you saying she was committing a crime when she lied to him and convinced him she was an adult? That’s it’s unreasonable to think her hellish life left her looking and acting older than her years?

                he was a 40 year old man, he willing agreed to purchase sex,

                Last I checked, this wasn’t a death penalty crime nor even a 50+ year crime.

                You’re trying to compare the victim of a murder to his murderer and claim she’s the real victim because of things external to their encounter.

                the idea that this adult was totally without agency, and was led astray by this child, is without merit.

                If he hadn’t been shot in the back of the head while asleep, we could try to convict him of something.

                Which doesn’t change that this looks like she setup and then killed a random John.

                But the idea that the law would look at this man and conclude that he was the innocent victim is precisely the problem here.

                The word “innocent” depends on the context.

                Would you say that serial killers who target prostitutes are “justified” because their victims are committing crimes? That those women are somehow not “innocent” in that context?

                How about some guy shot while Black? If he was a criminal, do the police get to shoot him because of his skin color even if he’s surrendered?

                What this guy is on the hook for is paying for sex. That’s not nothing… but it’s also not attempted murder, nor rape, nor enslaving her, nor anything else for which we might handwave her shooting him in the head.

                The law’s conclusions about how important men are, and about how all other concerns need to be considered as less than, is what drives this problem.

                I would be really unhappy if my wife or daughters were shot in the head while sleeping or otherwise coldbloodily murdered at random for a few hundred dollars.

                Maybe it’s just me but that seems like a “life in prison” crime. The shooter being high or having a bad life before they pulled the trigger wouldn’t change that opinion.

                Yes, the system failed Brown rather spectacularly from birth to age 16. No, that doesn’t mean she gets a pass for what she did.Report

              • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                @dark-matter 1. I am suggesting he was committing the crime. Victims are generally not charged with statutory rape. Are you proposing a change? The idea that she misled him – that he was a fine, upstanding, reasonable purchaser of sex from teenagers, but that she tricked him – is absurd.

                2. “What this guy is on the hook for is paying for sex.” Nope. He’s on the hook for statutory rape (at the minimum) of a girl who had been forced into prostitution at threat of both rape and abuse.

                3. As for your project ONLY to recognize the humanity of the 40-year-old man who purchased sex from teenagers forced into prostitution, but not the teenager forced into prostitution, I don’t know what to tell you, nor do I know how to convince you that her humanity matters too. I suppose I could ask, “What if it was your daughter who had endured what she had?” but those questions always end up going so badly.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                The idea that she misled him – that he was a fine, upstanding, reasonable purchaser of sex from teenagers, but that she tricked him – is absurd.

                This is her claim, not mine. From wiki…

                Prosecutors argued that her motive for killing Allen was robbery.[5] This was, in part, due to video-recorded admissions Brown made during her arrest. Brown admitted to lying about her age when she first encountered her victim.

                As for your project ONLY to recognize the humanity of the 40-year-old man who purchased sex from teenagers forced into prostitution, but not the teenager forced into prostitution,

                Either we’re all human or none of us are.

                I am suggesting he was committing the crime.

                I don’t see the connection between her crime and his. Her actions were heinous, in order to try to justify them, you need to point to… people other than him.

                She has a pimp, she has multiple rapists, we have no evidence he knew of this and we seem to have her word that he didn’t. If we narrow the universe to just the two of them, there doesn’t seem to be justification for what she did.Report

              • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                @dark-matter You can point directly at the 40-year-old man who was “purchasing” the 16-year-old who had abuse at her back motivating her consent (which she couldn’t legally give) to the situation she was in.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                You can point directly at the 40-year-old man

                The back of his head, specifically. While he sleeps.

                Don’t pull the trigger. *SQUEEZE* it.Report

              • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                @jaybird Pity the poor 40-year-old men who just want to have sex with underage girls who are being forced into prostitution.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s possible for it to be wrong to kill a guy in his sleep, even if he is guilty of crimes that he didn’t even know he committed (on top of the ones that he knew were crimes).

                I suppose we could get into death penalty theory…

                Though I’m not sure that this particular case will necessarily lead to the conclusion that you’re hoping to bring everybody to…Report

              • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                @jaybird You’re right that the conclusion being drawn won’t necessarily be the one that I’m drawing. That’s the point. The justice system defaults to being concerned with the lives of men, women be damned. In each of these three examples, only the man mattered.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, in the specific case that we were discussing, the man mattered because the woman shot him in the back of the head while he was sleeping.Report

              • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                @jaybird Whereas nothing that happened to her, including him having raped her, her having been forced into that situation, and her enduring violent abuse for much of her young life, mattered at all. Just as nothing that happened to other two women in the other two stories mattered.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                I found myself wondering “what happened to her pimp?”

                So I went to Wikipedia.

                Brown’s former pimp, Garion L. McGlothen, also known as Gary McGlothen and Kutthroat, died on March 30, 2005, at the age of 24, having been shot and killed by a man named Quartez Hines.

                So, as it turns out, the actual guy involved in trafficking her was ignored by law enforcement.

                The good news, I guess, is that Quartez Hines put an end to “Kuttthroat’s” trafficking for good in a similar manner to that used by Brown.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                So, as it turns out, the actual guy involved in trafficking her was ignored by law enforcement.

                Brown killed that guy August 6, 2004.
                Kutthroat, died on March 30, 2005

                There’s about 8 months between those two murders. I couldn’t find when Brown was arrested.

                I also couldn’t find whether or not the police were interested in Kutthroat in general, but not actively being in prison isn’t the same as being “ignored”.

                Some more information here (this is clearly a supporter of hers and they swing pretty left): https://theappeal.org/not-a-cardboard-cut-out-cyntoia-brown-and-the-framing-of-a-victim-aa61f80f9cbb/

                Brown only lived with Kutthroat, her pimp/boyfriend, for only 3 weeks before the murder. The author of that piece strongly objects to the word “trafficked” and thinks Brown’s lifestyle is better described as “survival sex”.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                For the record, had Brown shot Kutthroat, I would have 100% sympathy for the argument that Sam is making. (Perhaps even if Brown had shot Kutthroat in his sleep.)

                Given that Brown did not shoot Kutthroat but Allen and then given that Brown killed Allen and then went back to Kutthroat, I really have more confusion for Sam’s points than anything else.

                It’s like he doesn’t believe that mens rea exists, but stuff we know after the fact was stuff that everybody knew at the time… like this is a Dirty Harry movie or something.Report

              • Avatar Reformed Republican in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                What would your preferred outcome be for this situation? Do you think she should have received a lighter sentence, do you think she should have been acquitted, or something else?Report

              • @reformed-republican At the very minimum, she should have received a much lighter sentence, and she should not have been prosecuted as an adult. Nobody is proposing excusing what she did; what is being proposed is prosecutors extending her the sort of humanity that they are willing to extend to brutal rapists like the other two described.Report

              • Avatar Reformed Republican in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                Okay. I think we are probably on the same page regarding this particular case then. I cannot speak for anybody else, but to me, it sometimes seemed like you though she should get a free pass for this.

                I think the abuse she suffered should be mitigating circumstances that would have reduced her sentence. What magic number would be just or fair? No idea. I feel pretty confident that “life” is not that number.Report

              • @reformed-republican She has already served more than a decade in prison. There is no free ride for her. It would be impossible to give her one.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Reformed Republican
                Ignored
                says:

                I think the abuse she suffered should be mitigating circumstances that would have reduced her sentence. What magic number would be just or fair? No idea. I feel pretty confident that “life” is not that number.

                The phrase “Fetal alcohol syndrome” gets mentioned by her supporters, a big part of that is “makes shockingly bad choices”. FAS is a nasty package, if you read the “how to help” section is basically the opposite of her life and lifestyle. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fetal_alcohol_spectrum_disorder#Behavioral_interventions

                If it matters: it was her gun, she’d been with her boyfriend/pimp only 3 weeks, and after the killing she drove back to him.

                The Prosecutor convinced the Judge the whole thing was premeditated. So killing him as part of a robbery was planned, certainly before she pulled the trigger, perhaps before she’d even met him. This takes us into “predators looking for random victims” territory which is also “actively dangerous to society”.

                It’s certainly possible we’re looking at a case where the Prosecutor over charged to force a deal and then broke someone they shouldn’t have… but convincing a judge of something in court with someone arguing against it is a pretty high bar and we’re past that point.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                @dark matter

                “convincing a judge of something in court with someone arguing against it is a pretty high bar”

                Not when it comes to putting certain people – people who aren’t the right race, class, mental health status, etc. – under lock and key, it isn’t.

                Nor is it when it comes to getting white, “well-spoken,” purportedly remorseful (or lying through their teeth, or sometimes, confusingly, both!) men out of jail.

                Have seen the latter play out in my own life (generally in cases where the perps were related to me) an embarrassing number of times, including cases where there were public defenders and deals involved. The stats for the former are anywhere you want to find them.

                It’s not a high bar at all.

                Judges wield an astonishing amount of power and are very happy to permanently lock up those they can’t feel empathy for, seems to me to be the most common situation.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Maribou
                Ignored
                says:

                Note, I’m not even arguing one thing or the other about any particular one of these cases here.

                But the idea that there’s no overwhelming bias involved, which underlies your “high bar” claim, is so patently false it always surprises me when it turns out you’ve reverted to it.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Maribou
                Ignored
                says:

                My point is we’ve already applied the highest bar society has for this case.

                Yes, that bar is imperfect. Yes, it is possible the outcome here was determined by a lack of resources in Brown’s defense team… but that is something which should be argued and proved, not simply assumed. It is possible what we know is wrong/biased… but Brown’s supporters mostly aren’t claiming what we know is wrong, they’re just claiming Brown had a hard life.

                The legal system answers the question: “what is an appropriate jail term for someone who does [X]”. We probably don’t want to have a “harsh life” exception nor a “cute and female” exception.Report

              • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                @dark-matter Cyntoia Brown got the max. You seem comfortable with that. No acknowledging what she endured. Now acknowledging how she got there. Fine.

                What about the first two men who didn’t endure anything of the sort? Who were given all of the extensions of kindness and understanding denied to Cyntoia Brown? Maybe they just got lucky? Maybe the bar’s imperfection was on display there?Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                What about the first two men who didn’t endure anything of the sort?

                I would call those “never events”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Never_events

                They’re the legal equiv of a surgeon leaving his tools inside the patient (MUCH worse than it sounds btw), which happens more than a thousand times a year.

                BTW, note just how useless it is to point to one of 4k “never events” and then compare that to the billion+ examples of the system working.

                We expect the system to work. We expect cops to be able to interact with civilians without killing them. We expect surgeons to not kill/maim their patients via miscounting the number of sponges they put inside them. We expect the legal system to not drop the ball as heinously as it did in your examples.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                @dark-matter *edited because I actually read the wiki page and realized I had the terminology wrong and corrected myself*

                It’s not okay to call them never events when they happen all the damn time. It isn’t an “oh well” to call them never events. Most well-positioned white men get more lenient sentences than most other men.

                Also, Atul Gawande got his platform mostly by pointing out that shrugging (or even kindly sympathizing) and calling something a never event when it’s as drastically bad as your surgeon example is *not acceptable*, and then working to change things. His checklist approach fixed a ton of problems in his and other hospitals’ surgeries that were previously written off as unavoidable precisely because no one was facing that things so horrible happened so damn often.

                The fact that he actually changed things, instead of buying into the “never events” approach of refusing to face the problem, is why he’s an incredibly influential person today.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Maribou
                Ignored
                says:

                Atul Gawande got his platform mostly by pointing out that shrugging (or even kindly sympathizing) and calling something a never event when it’s as drastically bad as your surgeon example is *not acceptable*, and then working to change things.

                You seem to be saying I’m suggesting that never events should be ignored.

                Let’s talk about surgeons leaving tools inside of people. The most common tool left is a sponge and it’s a horror. The body quickly “merges” with a sponge. It also rejects the sponge as foreign. Removing the sponge even a few days later involves ripping out not only the sponge but large amounts of surrounding tissue (and that’s the best case).

                During the course of a surgery dozens of sponges can be put into and taken out of a patient. There’s supposed to be one nurse with a whiteboard tracking how many are in, however surgeries can take many hours, shifts can change, the dedicated nurse has other duties, and people suck at counting and remembering.

                I don’t remember the frequency of this never event, one in 10k? Obviously it’s budget nightmare, a multi-million dollar mistake. No hospital wants to get in front of a jury and explain they maimed someone because their nurse couldn’t count to 10.

                Computers are great at both counting and remembering.

                Last I heard, we don’t (yet) know the failure rate of computerized sponge counting systems. Not because they’re new (they’ve been in the field for years) but because they’re so much absurdly better at counting that I’m not sure if we’ve seen them fail yet and in order to calculate a failure rate you need failures.

                The system itself adds more expense to the surgery (the new sponges aren’t free, nor is the counter), but a million dollars divided by 10k means a hospital should be willing to pay up to $100 per surgery to avoid this and the system is MUCH cheaper than that. Pennies per sponge, a few dollars per surgery.

                From my point of view, preventing never events is profitable. However it’s worth noting the solution to all this was money and not outrage.Report

              • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                @dark-matter Just so we’re clear: most of the time, the justice system gets it right, at least as far as you’re concerned?Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                most of the time, the justice system gets it right, at least as far as you’re concerned?

                Let’s talk football. A football “never event” would be running the ball down to the 2 yard line and then failing to score even with no one guarding. Another “never” would be a player being seriously injured by his own team. Avoiding never events have little to do with “getting it right most of the time”, i.e. winning games, which is a different metric of performance.

                I think your question is FAR too broad to have a single specific answer. The justice system’s success rate for dealing with crimes that leave corpses is much better than it’s success rate for auto-traffic/drug/sex crimes. It’s probably a mistake to lump all of those categories together. Similarly something as measurable as a murder conviction rate would swing wildly depending on your location, so Chicago’s problems/flaws aren’t very relevant to me personally.

                The justice system is obviously flawed. Some of these flaws are because of budget limitations, some because of cultural limitations, some because people are flawed, some because there are people actively opposed to justice, some because people disagree on what justice is. Some of these flaws can and should be fixed, in particular some seem like self inflicted injuries (the war on drugs). Other flaws are probably built into the system, it’s easier for me to picture the WOD ending than all inequality ending.

                If we narrow focus to my personal encounters with the justice system in the last decade, the traffic cop gave me a warning the other month rather than a ticket. They didn’t find the guy who broke into my house. They didn’t end parental rights for the serial false sex abuse accuser. They also didn’t traumatize my daughter when she was accused by that nut. They cleaned up my neighbor taking a mortgage on my house. They didn’t catch the guy who stole my daughter’s checkbook. They also didn’t make her pay for his bad checks.

                What does all that add up to? My conclusion is that the plural of anecdote isn’t data.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Sam Wilkinson
                Ignored
                says:

                ” I differentiate between abusers and the abused.”

                How do you manage to do that so neatly, considering that most people in the first category also fall into the second? (Most people in the 2nd category, of course, definitely do NOT fall into the first – they’re asymmetrical categories.)

                Not really needling here, I really am curious about it, because it’s something I struggle with a great deal morally, familialy (not a word but you know what I mean), and in terms of prison-based vs restorative justice.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Sam Wilkinson
        Ignored
        says:

        In a nation of 325 million, you can find a pretty decent number of cases to cherry-pick to support pretty much any narrative you want. If you actually wanted to get at the truth, it’s not a question of having some magic number of data points, but of having a representative sample. You can’t just pick all the cases that fit your preferred narrative and declare that those are the ones that matter.

        I mean, obviously you can, because you do. But you shouldn’t fool yourself into believing that this is a valid way to get at the truth.Report

  3. Avatar Philip H
    Ignored
    says:

    Reformed Republican: I could interpret this two ways, and I am not sure which is correct. Are you claiming that: 1)Women are disproportionately indicted and convicted of murder after being a victim of a sex crime or 2) When accused of committing murder after being a victim of a sex crime, women are more likely to be convicted and men are more likely to be acquitted?

    Those two ideas are strikingly similar. Reread them.

    What I’m saying is that from media coverage 1) women appear to be more likely to commit murder after being victims of a sex crime (and generally in self defense); 2) if indicted for said murder they are more likely to be tried then to receive plea bargain offers (especially to lower charges), and 3) if tried they are more often convicted.

    Now, again, that’s not a robust legal scholarly assessment – its a SWAG based on Google searches at lunch. I’m open to being proven way wrong.Report

    • Avatar Reformed Republican in reply to Philip H
      Ignored
      says:

      They are not that similar.
      1 refers to the circumstances leading up to committing the crime, 2 refers to how they are treated by the legal system. I am willing to accept that women are more likely to be victims of abuse, and therefore they are likely to commit crimes as a result of that abuse.

      On the other hand, studies that I have seen in the past have always suggested that women are (generally) treated much more leniently then men by the justice system. If there are statistics to disprove that, or statistics to show that women who are abused fare worse than women who are not abused, I would be interested in seeing them.

      https://journalistsresource.org/studies/government/criminal-justice/courts-lenient-sentencing-bond-women/
      https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2144002Report

      • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Reformed Republican
        Ignored
        says:

        @reformed-republican “treated much more leniently then men by the justice system” is going to have to be qualified. Do we think the justice system, for example, does a good job with sexual assault? The examples above, as do the countless other examples available via any cursory search, suggest it doesn’t. Do we think the justice system does a good job with abuse? The example above, as do countless other examples via any cursory search, suggest it doesn’t. If you only look at what the justice system does at the very end, your numbers might play out, but that isn’t reflective of the entirety of the system as it functions.Report

        • Avatar Reformed Republican in reply to Sam Wilkinson
          Ignored
          says:

          Sorry, I should have stated “treated more leniently than men by the justice system when accused of a crime.”

          Another relevant question. Was Brown represented by a public defender or a private attorney (considering she was a sixteen-year-old runaway, I suspect it was a public defender)? What about the men in the other two stories?Report

  4. Avatar Philip H
    Ignored
    says:

    Sam Wilkinson: @JaybirdIn all three examples, the Justice System was far more concerned with what happened to men: in the first two cases conspiring to protect rapists, and in the third to pursue justice for a rapist’s death. I think the idea that the thing we’re even considering discussing is murder, rather than the Justice System’s plainly misplaced priorities, is precisely the problem.

    It shouldn’t be shocking however. In spite of all the sexual harassment training done in board rooms across the nation, how many senior managers are allowed to leave leave their lofty positions with lofty golden parachutes after being credibly accused of sexual misconduct? All of these events are symptoms of a misogynistic system trying to protect itself.

    That’s what we need to focus on.Report

  5. Avatar Michele Kerr
    Ignored
    says:

    I agree with much (not all) of what jaybird sez (I can’t figure out how to quote people here), but in general, I’m struck by the vast differences between the cases and the absurdity of linking them.

    The Justin Schneider case was widely recognized as outrageous, receiving coverage everywhere. The local community has responded. Like the Stanford case, I can’t even accept the argument that the judges and lawyers subscribe to the “boys will be boys” defense–I mean, stupid much? These aren’t 90 year olds.

    The Jacob Anderson case, on the other hand, could be easily viewed as an injustice from either end. If Anderson had had consensual sex while slightly drunk, any lawyer would have told him to take this deal. And that’d be terribly unfair, given what happened. There’s very little support for the charge. Consider him innocent, and what happened next seems incredibly unfair. I simply don’t have much sympathy for the “girl is at a party, drinks something, and then is raped repeatedly by a guy who otherwise has no history of doing this” charge anymore. Sorry. Maybe it happened, maybe it didn’t. I distrust any rendition that doesn’t make this clear.

    The Brown case seems completely normal. She shot a guy in cold blood and stole his considerable property. This after being paid a fairly exorbitant chunk of money for sex. I have no sympathy. Pretty sure it’s not normal to charge men having sex with 16-year-old prostitutes with statutory rape, even if it’s technically correct. 51 years seems excessive. It’s also pretty obvious that her case, which is 12 years old, is being revived as a celebrity cause.

    So there really doesn’t seem to be any connection, certainly not enough to make the case. there are countless cases of injustice of every race, religion, gender, color, immigration status. Kind of like “pick 3 cases at random and pretend trend.”Report

    • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Michele Kerr
      Ignored
      says:

      @michelle-kerr You’re describing Jacob Anderson as, potentially, a victim here? And “little support for the charge” means what exactly? What more would you have her provide exactly, beyond the immediate rape kit (which showed what she said) and her willingness to testify?

      As for your comments regarding Cyntoia Brown: she was a 16-year-old girl. The idea that the law there shouldn’t count – or, worse, that she was overcharging for the sexual slavery she was forced into – is bonkers.Report

      • Avatar Michele Kerr in reply to Sam Wilkinson
        Ignored
        says:

        The rape kit showed she had sex, presumably. And her willingness to testify is not much, these days. Do I think it’s possible she is lying? Absolutely. And so would many others, which is possibly why the DAs offer these deals.

        ” The idea that the law there shouldn’t count – or, worse, that she was overcharging for the sexual slavery she was forced into – is bonkers.”

        That’s a bizarre interpretation. I said nothing about whether or not the law “should” count, only that it doesn’t seem to be a typical charge. Statutory rape was not designed for prostitution. If it were, every john hiring an underage hooker would be charged with rape and tagged as a sexual offender, which I’m pretty sure is not happening.

        Nor did I say she was overcharging, simply that in a country where sex can be obtained for far less, she was setting a fairly high price for her services. But it may be that she only pretended to prostitution, but in fact was always stealing from her johns. Who knows?

        Am I sympathetic? No. But I do think 51 years is excessive for a 16 year old.Report

        • Avatar Sam Wilkinson in reply to Michele Kerr
          Ignored
          says:

          @michelle-kerr “her willingness to testify is not much, these days” is, again, based on what? She was in the courtroom when this sweetheart deal was announced. She gave a victim statement in its aftermath, excoriating both her rapist (for what he did) and the court (for having conspired with him).

          As for statutory rape: if men having sex with children are not being tagged as “sexual offenders” if the child had been forced into prostitution beforehand, the system is even more broken that I have alleged above. I guess I’m missing why prostitution would excuse a man’s victimization of a child?Report

  6. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    And along these lines, a million years ago, I had a question about defenses that people were allowed to give for themselves.

    Specifically, I was confused by the oath to tell the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth would prevent defendants from saying something like “but I was doing this in accordance with state law!”

    Even if it were true, it wasn’t relevant, it was explained to me.

    Which struck me as bullshit then and it does now.

    But if you want to see lawyers try to explain it to me, please read this thread here.Report

  7. Avatar Oscar Gordon
    Ignored
    says:

    A point to Sam: There is, IMHO, a problem with charging men who hit their wives with unintentional homicide.

    If I get on my bicycle and drive straight at a person, and ram them, there is a chance they will be killed, but most likely they (& I) will be injured and live. Even if they die, one could argue I could not reasonably have intended to kill them, since I hit them with my bicycle. Put me in a car, however, and reasonable goes out the window. Hitting a person with a car has a much higher likelihood of killing them. It’s a much tougher argument to claim that I didn’t mean to kill them.

    Thus it should be when it comes to men hitting women. A large person hitting a smaller, weaker person, has a much higher likelihood of resulting in death. Especially when the larger person is enraged, or drunk and unable to accurately assess when they should stop.

    In short, the law, when deciding on charges for such cases, should flip it on it’s head. If the woman had, during the beating, pulled a gun and killed the man, would she be able to reasonably claim self defense? If yes, then he should be charged with 1st degree.Report

    • Avatar Maribou in reply to Oscar Gordon
      Ignored
      says:

      @oscar-gordon I mean, I agree with you but does that really have to be a gendered rule? It’s equally the case – and equally egregiously the case – in plenty of other gender situations (including male on male violence) …. just because a man beating a woman is statistically far more common than any other domestic abuse situation (except perhaps a man beating his kids? I think that one is the most under reported) doesn’t mean the rule itself should have to be gender-based. Weight, height, strength, reach, training, whatever, those are all as powerful an argument and don’t require recourse to gender.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Maribou
        Ignored
        says:

        I never intended for it to be a gendered rule. The rule is about the disparity of employed force. It’s one of those things that people who think about self-defense have to keep in mind. If a frail old man who can barely hobble is chasing me with a stick, I can’t shoot him and claim self defense unless I am disabled to such a state that he poses a reasonable threat to me.

        Likewise, if a fit young woman is beating on said old man, his use of a weapon to defend himself would be reasonable.

        In the end, it’s akin to pointing a gun at a person, and having the gun unintentionally go off and kill that person. The fact that you REALLY didn’t want to murder them isn’t as important as the fact that you were pointing a loaded weapon at them.Report

        • Avatar Maribou in reply to Oscar Gordon
          Ignored
          says:

          @oscar-gordon I agree completely. Think I was just confused by the way you were using men and women in the previous comment, when actually you were just running with the way previous commenters had done so.Report

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *