Shifting the Blame: How Victimization Became a Criminal Defense / Edition 1

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The book appears New, Very nice condition. Quantity Available: 1. Category: Law & Criminal Studies; ISBN: 0813525845. ISBN/EAN: 9780813525846. Inventory No: 1560793043. Edition ... Unstated. Read more Show Less

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New Brunswick, NJ 1999 Softcover Edition Unstated New Book The book appears New, Very nice condition. Quantity Available: 1. Category: Law & Criminal Studies; ISBN: 0813525845. ... ISBN/EAN: 9780813525846. Inventory No: 1560793043. Read more Show Less

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New Brunswick, NJ 1998 Trade paperback New. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 208 p.

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Overview

More than just a study of legal history, Shifting the Blame looks at the "abuse excuse" defense as an indicator of broad social change in cultural understandings of victimization, responsibility, and womanhood. The introduction of victimization as an exculpatory condition within the context of a criminal defense tells the story of a society that has accepted victimization as a new way of explaining and excusing misbehavior.

Through case law analysis, the book documents the initial development of the strategy in three different types of cases in the 1970s - "rotten social background", brainwashing, and battered women's self-defense cases. Since its initial acceptance in battered women's cases in the early 1980s, the use of the strategy has expanded to a variety of offenders in different types of relationships arguing different defenses. In lively, readable prose, Westervelt examines each form of expansion, revealing that while the expansion of the strategy has been fairly extensive, it has also been limited in some important ways. Her research shows readers that only certain types of "victims," particularly victims of physical abuse, have successfully used this defense. Shifting the Blame exposes the ways in which the acceptance of this new defense strategy illuminates a cultural shift in understandings of individual responsibility and shows how the law plays a role in defining who can be an acceptable victim.

Saundra D. Westervelt is an assistant professor in the Sociology Department at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Traces the development, use, and expansion of the victimization defense strategy, and explains its initial success in battered women's cases. Looks at the "abuse excuse" as an indicator of far-reaching changes in the way our culture views victimhood, responsibility, and womanhood, documenting the development of this defense strategy in three types of cases dating from the 1970s<-->"rotten social background," brainwashing, and battered women's cases. Examines the trials of Lorena Bobbitt and the Menendez brothers, and concludes that the success of the defense is limited to cases in which physical abuse can be proven. Westervelt is an assistant professor in the sociology department at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813525846
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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