Marcia Norman, 39, and her husband, Mitchell, had been married for 25 years and had several children. Mitchell did not work. He forced Marcia to make money by prostitution, and he made fun of that fact before family and friends. He beat her if she resisted going to a truck stop and offering her body. On a few occasions, he made her eat out of the pets’ bowls and insisted that she bark like a dog. He threatened to kill or maim her numerous times.
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Marcia and Mitchell got along very well when he was sober. But early one morning, he was intoxicated when he went to a highway rest area where Marcia was prostituting herself and assaulted her. He continued beating her all day after they got home. She called the police and was told to come in and file a complaint, but she was afraid that he would kill her if she had him arrested. She ingested a bottle of pills, then panicked and called EMS. Her husband cursed her as the paramedics treated her and urged them to let her die. After they left, Mitchell continued to slap, kick and throw objects at Marcia. At one point, he put a cigarette out on her upper torso, causing a small burn. After he fell asleep, Marcia took their baby to her mother’s so that she would not wake him, returned with a pistol and killed him.
At trial, Marcia pleads self defense, which is defined as “the necessity, real or reasonably apparent, of killing an unlawful aggressor to save oneself from imminent death or great bodily harm.” The state does not have a battered-person syndrome statute. (Source: North Carolina v. Norman, 378 SE2d 8 [Supreme Court of North Carolina 1989])
In a paper of approximately 2,400 words, make alternate arguments that 1) Marcia Norman is not guilty of the murder of her husband; 2) Marcia Norman is guilty of the murder of her husband. Use the paper to show what you have learned about intimate-partner abuse and the pros and cons of battered-spouse syndrome.
You do not need to look at the case or research the law of North Carolina or any other state. Use the information from the assigned text. You may supplement the paper with independent sources, but this should not be necessary. Papers based on internet sources alone will not receive credit. You should be demonstrating that you have read and understood the material assigned.