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Criminal Law Conversations$
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Paul H. Robinson, Stephen Garvey, and Kimberly Kessler Ferzan

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199861279

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199861279.001.0001

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Self-Defense, Imminence, and the Battered Woman

Self-Defense, Imminence, and the Battered Woman

(p.407) 19. Self-Defense, Imminence, and the Battered Woman
Criminal Law Conversations

Whitley R.P. Kaufman

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents an authoritative overview of self-defense in relation to the so-called imminence rule and its application to “battered woman” situations. More specifically, it examines whether the imminence rule applies to women who claim to have been subject to repeated domestic abuse, and who kill their abuser during a lull in these attacks, even (in some cases) when he is asleep or unconscious. It argues that the imminence rule is an important limitation on the individual citizen's right to use force, even in the case of the battered woman. The chapter includes comments by some of the nation's top legal scholars from the field of criminal law, tackling topics such as the connection between imminence and necessity, the proxy thesis, the values and costs of imminence, and the authority to strike back.

Keywords:   self-defense, imminence rule, battered woman, domestic abuse, necessity, proxy thesis, strike back

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