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Battered Women Doing Time: Injustice in the Criminal Justice System

NCJ Number
Rachel Zimmer Schneider
Date Published
161 pages
This book examines the experiences of battered women who have been incarcerated for killing their abusers.
This book explores several questions surrounding the use of clemency for these women. Why are some battered women granted clemency and others are denied it? How does the denial of clemency affect the women who are left to serve out the remainder of their sentences? What is post-prison life like for women who have received clemency? How did the clemency decision affect their view of life circumstances leading up to the killing of their abuser? The book seeks to answer these questions by examining the lives of battered women who were incarcerated in Ohio for killing their abusers and who were the subjects of and participants in the clemency movement that took place in Ohio in the 1990s. Following the introductory chapter, the next chapter of the book attempts to present an understanding of the extreme abuse endured by the women and the strength and resilience that they showed in dealing with their situations. The third chapter of the book focuses on the killings perpetrated by the women and the legal proceedings that followed, while the fourth chapter examines life behind bars for the women. The next three chapters of the book focus on life after clemency with chapter 5 covering life after clemency was denied, chapter 6 covering life after clemency was granted, and chapter 7 examining the differences and similarities between the women granted clemency and those who were denied clemency. The final chapter of the book examines the larger sociological questions associated with the problem of battered women who are incarcerated for killing their abusers. Appendixes, bibliography, and index