Amicus Briefs by Topic
INTENT: BATTERING AND ITS EFFECTS TO REBUT / NEGATE INTENT
Evelyn Bozon-Pappa v. US, 11th Circuit, Certiorari US Supreme Court, March 2000
Brief for certiorari on behalf of battered woman defendant convicted of participating with abusive boyfriend in federal drug conspiracy. Brief reviews history of admission of expert testimony on battering, and argues that battering expert was wrongfully excluded as such testimony was needed for proper evaluation of prosecution evidence of defendant’s purported “knowing and intentional” conduct and defense evidence of history of abuse by co-defendant.
Cert. Denied. 529 U.S. 1061, 120 S. Ct. 1572, 146 L. Ed. 2d 474 (2000)
Faye Copeland (Copeland v. Washington) – US District Ct., W.D. Missouri, January 1999
Brief on behalf of battered woman defendant sentenced to death for conspiring with abusive husband to commit murder. Brief argues that battering expert was improperly precluded and counsel was ineffective for failing to present evidence of battering which was relevant to defendant’s intent to kill.
Order granting petition in part, and vacating death sentence affirmed. 232 F.2d 969 (8th Cir. 2000 )
US v. Kenia Munguia, US Ct. App. 9th Circuit, April 2011
Brief on behalf of battered woman defendant who bought pseudoephedrine at the direction of her abusive boyfriend. Brief argues that expert testimony on battering was relevant to defendant’s knowledge that the drug would be used to make methamphetamine and her failure to ask boyfriend probing questions.
Reversed on other grounds. 704 F.3d 596 (9th Cir. 2012)
State v. Rhonda Stewart, Supreme Court WV, 2011
Brief on behalf of battered woman defendant convicted of murder for shooting abusive husband when she intended to shoot herself. Brief reviews admissibility of battering evidence for purposes other than self-defense, explains relevance for assessing state of mind elements, and demonstrates how defendant was prejudiced.
Reversal of conviction affirmed. State v. Stewart, 228 W. Va. 406, 719 S.E.2d 876 (2011)
NCDBW note: Excluded eyewitnesses to abuse and battering expert could have cast doubt on premeditation and malice elements of murder.