Righteous Slaughter

Righteous Slaughter - Righteous Slaughter - Katz Chapter 1...

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Righteous Slaughter -- Katz Chapter 1 In this chapter, Katz offers an explanation for some types of murder (in another he discusses senseless killings). In many murders, particularly those between persons who know each other, people kill defending what they believe to be the "good;" thus justifying the crime in their own minds (at least at the moment they are committing it). In some cases, the public and juries have agreed with the defendant's claim that the killing was justified. Francine Hughes (Burning Bed case) couldn't very well argue self- defense, but did have a jury uphold her temporary insanity plea. She was then shortly released without receiving treatment. In the movie she is pictured as killing to protect her children from further harm, and as the only way to free herself from an otherwise unchangeable situation. Every time she moved away, he followed her. Another example is a husband who murders his adulterous wile or their wife's lover, particularly when the husband catches them in the act. He often receives sympathy from a jury. The husband is killing to defend the sacred institution of marriage from an outside attack. Killings may also be justified in the eyes of the murderer if property rights have been violated, i.e. breaking into one's home, blocking a driveway with a car. Overall these types of murders tend to emerge quickly, are fiercely impassioned, and are conducted with an indifference to the legal consequences. They are therefore immune to the Classical model's insistence that swift, certain, and severe punishment will act as a general deterrence. The person usually makes no attempt to escape and is quickly apprehended. Why do such murders occur? Katz offers the following explanation: 1. The would-be murdered must come to understand the situation as one in which the victim is attacking what he regards as an eternal human truth. The situation requires a
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last stand in defense of a value that is associated with the individual's basic worth as a human being. The person feels they can not simply walk away from the situation without
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Righteous Slaughter - Righteous Slaughter - Katz Chapter 1...

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