Clemency for battered women who killed

THE BALTIMORE EVENING SUN

The majority of callers to SUNDIAL believe Gov. William Donald Schaefer was correct in granting clemency to eight women convicted of killing their husbands or boyfriends. The majority of callers also believes that state law should be changed to allow spouse abuse as a defense.

The eight women were victims of what experts call battered spouse syndrome. But, because of state law, they had not been allowed to raise the defense of abuse at their trials.

Of 530 callers yesterday, 346, or 65 percent, said they agree with Schaefer's decision, while 184, or 35 percent, said they disagree. On the question of changing state law to allow the defense, 85 percent, or 436 of 515 callers, said the law should be changed, while 79 said the law should not be changed.

"It's Your Call" represents a sampling of opinions from certain segments of the community, but it is not balanced demographically, as would be done in a scientific public opinion poll.

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