Amicus Briefs by Topic
INEFFECTIVENESS OF COUNSEL: BATTERED WOMEN DEFENDANTS
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 )
Brief on behalf of battered woman convicted of murder for shooting abusive husband. Brief argues that counsel was ineffective and defendant was severely prejudiced by counsel’s failure to present corroborative lay evidence and that battering expert was necessary to assess self-defense elements and rebut misconceptions about battered women.
Affirmed. 265 Ga. 451, 457 S.E.2d 173 (1995)
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.