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The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection.
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NCJ Number: NCJ 156831     Find in a Library
Title: Spouse Murder Defendants in Large Urban Counties: Executive Summary
  Document URL: Text PDF 
  Agency Summary: Agency Summary 
Author(s): P A Langan ; J M Dawson
Corporate Author: Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
US Dept of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 3
  Annotation: This report summarizes findings from a study of 540 spouse murder defendants prosecuted in the Nation's 75 largest urban counties during 1988.
Abstract: Of the 540 defendants, 59 percent were husbands and 41 percent were wives. Blacks comprised 55 percent of the total sample; in 97 percent of the cases, both spouses were the same race. The age of defendants ranged from 18 to 87 years. Seventy percent of defendants were charged with first-degree murder. In these cases, 43 percent of spouse murder defendants pleaded guilty and were sentenced, 44 percent pleaded not guilty and stood trial, and 13 percent were not prosecuted. Of those who stood trial, 84 percent were convicted either by a jury or judge. Of the 431 defendants convicted of killing their spouse, 89 percent were sentenced to a State prison, 1 percent to a county jail, and 10 percent to probation. The statistics show that wife defendants were less likely to be convicted and more likely to receive lenient sentences when convicted, possibly because self-defense was raised as a mitigating factor more often in defense of wives. Defendant's race and victim's race were unrelated to case disposition. 1 figure
Main Term(s): Statistics
Index Term(s): Dispositions ; Offender profiles ; Marital murder ; Courts ; Male female offender comparisons
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
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Type: Statistics
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: Bureau of Justice Statistics Executive Summary, September 1995.
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