Volume 107
Issue 2
Jan. '19

The Front and Back Ends of Domestic Violence Murder: An Exploration of the Avenues for Change and an Introduction of the Domestic Violence-Murder Doctrine

Written By: Nick Butto

Abstract

The connections between domestic abuse, gun violence, and murder have received substantial media attention in recent months in the after-math of numerous mass shootings. It seems that in the weeks following each of these horrific crimes, authorities discover a history of domestic violence in the perpetrator’s past, witnesses come forward with disturbing stories that viewers think should have tipped them off, and political pundits debate the effectiveness of gun laws in America. This disheartening pattern has told the story of dozens of tragic killings in recent memory. This Note addresses two gaping holes in domestic violence law and policy that are easily plugged, but require a level of commitment from legislators that has been absent in recent years. By taking guns out of homes of abusive relationships and ensuring that patterns of coercive control and violence that lead to murder are not ignored, the criminal justice system can take a major step forward in acknowledging and addressing a plague in current American culture.

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