Gendered justice: Domestic homicide and the death penalty

Jill Messing, John W. Heeren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This research examines a newspaper sample of men and women who killed multiple people in a single domestic altercation during the years 1993 to 2002. As all these perpetrators of multiple domestic homicide are eligible to be capitally tried, differences in capital sentencing are examined using bivariate statistics and descriptive, case-oriented analyses. Women who kill their children using a knife or firearm are disproportionately sentenced to death, whereas men who kill in the context of a separation are granted leniency in regard to the death penalty. The interaction between the gender of the offender and the crime committed is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-188
Number of pages19
Journalfeminist criminology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 23 2009


  • Capital punishment
  • Death penalty
  • Domestic homicide
  • Gender
  • Homicide
  • Killing children
  • Multiple murder
  • Murder
  • Separation homicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Law


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