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Murderous Mothers & Gentle Judges: Paternalism,Patriarchy, and Infanticide

Brennan, Karen (2019) 'Murderous Mothers & Gentle Judges: Paternalism,Patriarchy, and Infanticide.' Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, 30 (1). ISSN 1043-9366

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Abstract

This article provides a first critical study of Irish judicial approaches to sentencing women convicted under the Infanticide Act 1949. Through an analysis of archival material, it will be shown that women convicted of infanticide, a homicide offence carrying a maximum of life imprisonment, were given exceptionally lenient sentences, with very few of these offenders being imprisoned following conviction. In the wider context of harsh and restrictive attitudes to female sexuality, and particularly to unmarried mothers, the obvious question that arises when considering sentencing of Irish infanticide offenders, such as Anne, is why women who killed their babies received consistently lenient treatment at the hands of the courts.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women
K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Law, School of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2017 12:42
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2019 15:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/20863

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