Women and murder

I don’t usually blog much about crime, although this subject does touch on social and political issues that I do blog about. Besides, I don’t feel inclined to write about the results of the Iowa caucuses just now. I may get to it later.

I’ve just been reading about the murder in Virginia of a 13-year-old girl. The two suspects in this case are an 18-year-old engineering student and athlete, and a 19-year-old female. Some have expressed surprise at the female suspect’s possible role in this murder, with the expressed view that it’s rare that a woman would be involved in this kind of thing, especially a crime in which the victim is another female. I have to take exception: I can think of several cases in which a woman has participated, sometimes with eagerness, in murders (and worse) of other females.

There was the Texas ‘Cadet murder’ case in which a couple, boyfriend and girlfriend, cadets at West Point and the Air Force academy respectively, killed another girl. Then in Canada there was the shocking Paul Bernardo-Karla Homolka killing team. Those are the two cases which come readily to mind, and there are many more.

In the first two cases linked in the previous paragraph, the killers were people who seemed accomplished or well-adjusted, at least on the surface. Not all killers look deranged and dangerous, though they usually do give indications that all is not right with them; most people look only at the surface.

I hesitate to bring up the Amanda Knox case because so many Americans defended her in a knee-jerk way because she was ‘cute’ and because she was American.  Nationalism and patriotism may be dead for most Americans but they seemed to take it as a national affront when Knox was convicted in an Italian court. I believe she is free now.

I’ve blogged before of how women tend to have a lower conviction rate in our justice system.

“Women who murder are rarely recognized as legitimate criminals, usually being characterized as accomplices or victims of persuasion by their male companions.

[…] In medieval courts women were acquitted more often then men for murder and this trend continued throughout the colonial period and 20th century in the U.S. Between World War II and the Vietnam war, female suspects were convicted at a lower rate and for lesser degrees of homicide than males. (Lane, 26,56,256) An example is Florida where all the women sentenced to death from 1926-1991 have been released or had their sentences changed from death to life imprisonment. Women who commit murder are represented as insane more often then men. It is very likely that the general leniency towards women who kill comes from the traditional view the male-dominated legal profession has had of women as the weaker sex.”

And I think women (feminists, specifically) like to have it both ways; they claim that women are the same as men except for the plumbing, and what with the transsexual craze in our society, even that part is subject to surgical modification. The feminists claim that women are the equals of men, and that women are free moral agents, responsible for themselves, autonomous, yet when a woman is accused of a crime, especially when she is the partner of a man in the crime, she is not culpable. The man somehow made her do it; coerced or intimidated her into it, or physically threatened or abused her — which she was powerless to resist, despite being the equal of the man — equal to go into combat or be a police officer or a prison guard or a firefighter — but she is helpless when a man tries to coerce her into a crime.

Either that, or (as the quote above indicates) her lawyers plead insanity for her, because everyone knows that women are basically gentle and nurturing and not at all prone to violence. Women are mommies and grandmas; they don’t inflict harm on others; they are there to kiss it better, not to hurt. But reality is not always so simple.

Surprisingly, on the old blog, when I blogged about this issue, one of my regulars who had a hardline attitude on most things, disagreed with me about women having an easier time in the justice system as well as in the court of public opinion.

I don’t know whether the suspects in the recent Virginia case are guilty; that remains to be seen. I do think that if both are found guilty, the ‘girl’ will likely be treated more gently, based on statistics. And this will again point out how feminists are not really about equality, just as the Civil Rights Revolution was not about equality; it’s about getting one’s own group a preferred position, and exemption from full responsibility. That’s not equality.




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