Tag Archive 'history of infanticide'

The Offence/Defence of Infanticide

March 17, 2008

Crime, as the violation of law, challenges the very foundations of the social order, thereby making its control and punishment one of the most vital functions of the modern state. One of the key elements of establishing criminal responsibility for an offence is the “exercise of the person’s will” towards the commission of the offence. As is evident from this, any intervening conditions which hamper or otherwise affect the “exercise of will” – such as mental illness – are bound to have a bearing on the outcome of the prosecution.

The problem currently under scrutiny outlines a scenario where a woman, driven by mental disturbances following parturition, repeatedly smothers her baby leading eventually to its death. …

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