Monday, August 01, 2005


Another Wife-Killer Who Isn't A Murderer!

Suprisingly common when you keep your eyes open..

Michael Morton killed his estranged wife & her body has never been found. He's not a murderer, however. The word we use for a case like this, when killing a woman is something less than murder, apparently because of the man's residual ownership rights over her, is 'manslaughter'. In other countries it might be called 'honour killing'.

It seems Morton had been violent to her in the past. Under the Ape's law (discussed previously), 'manslaughter' would have been unavailable to him.

Incidentally, let's wait for Morton's sentence and compare it with that of Lee Kilty, sentenced today. Kilty raped strangers and attempted to kill them. He got four life sentences. He didn't kill anyone, despite his efforts. It is possible to speculate that death would have been more certain if he had had the sophistication to despose of the victim's bodies.

UPDATE: Morton's sentence is in. Seven years. The judge talked about the aggravating factors, such as never admitting his guilt. Seriously aggravating, but not enough to make his crime equivalent to raping a stranger. How many women stop to read the smallprint of their marriage contracts before they sign? The clause that says "The status of crimes committed against you will be automatically downgraded" probably needs looking at.

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