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Thursday, April 28, 2011

NYTimes: The most important question is Barbara Sheehan's state of mind when she killed her abusive husband

Barbara Sheehan, who shot her husband, Raymond, a former NYPD police sergeant, after a long history of battering, at the Queens Criminal Courthouse. (NYT)

...Both the son and daughter said that their father’s death was the best possible outcome, and that their lives were infinitely better: the long shadow of fear for their mother’s life had lifted and they felt liberated...

All Barbara Sheehan Posts here

Full New York Times article here

A COURT BATTLE OVER A HUSBAND’S RAGE AND A WIFE WHO’D HAD ENOUGH
The New York Times
By Jim Dwyer
April 26, 2011
[Excerpts] ...Few important facts appear to be in dispute. Ms. [Barbara] Sheehan shot her husband, as she has told anyone who asks. Mr. [Raymond] Sheehan beat his wife, according to her, their children, extended family, domestic violence counselors and medical records. The most important question to be resolved by a trial is Ms. Sheehan’s state of mind at the time she killed him. The law of self-defense requires the jury members to put themselves in the position of the person who used lethal force, and the Court of Appeals said that experts are necessary to explain the emotional paralysis of battered women who do not leave the person hurting them. “I think everybody should be told everything that happened,” Ms. Sheehan said Tuesday. She is free on $1 million bail, which was secured by the homes of several family members... Mr. Brown, the district attorney, continues to oppose the use of psychiatrists by the defense, a spokesman said, “because the defendant has failed to cooperate” during an examination by a psychologist hired by the prosecution. Mr. Dowd, the lawyer for Ms. Sheehan, said that she had already been examined for more than 10 hours by the prosecution’s psychologist and was eager to answer any other questions the expert had. Mr. Dowd also said that a videotape would show that he and his client had cooperated fully... Both the son and daughter said that their father’s death was the best possible outcome, and that their lives were infinitely better: the long shadow of fear for their mother’s life had lifted and they felt liberated. They did not go to his funeral, but they went to his wake. “I just wanted to see for myself,” Ms. Joyce said, “that he was dead.”

EXCERPTS FROM EARLIER NEW YORK DAILY NEWS ARTICLE:

DAUGHTER OF BATTERED WIFE BARBARA SHEEHAN, WHO KILLED NYPD OFFICER HUSBAND, IS GLAD MOM SHOT DAD
New York Daily News
By Nicole Bode
Friday, May 15, 2009
[Excerpts] The daughter of an abusive NYPD officer shot dead by his battered wife said she's glad he's gone. "No part of me misses him. My life is 150% better," Jennifer Sheehan said of her slain dad... Jennifer Sheehan, 23, said she and her brother lived in "constant fear" her dad would harm their mom. He also went after them, once locking them in a bedroom at gunpoint, she said... Barbara Sheehan said she wanted to share her tale to warn other women to get out of abusive relationships. She tried to leave her husband multiple times, but said he vowed to hunt her down and kill her and the kids. Sheehan's lawyer, Michael Dowd, said he was "bewildered" that Queens prosecutors were pursuing the case in light of the history of abuse... [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal fatality fatalities homicide self-defense battered women's syndrome experts new york state politics]

1 comment:

  1. Barbara Sheehan case: Queens judge quits murder trial over potential conflict of interest
    By Thomas Zambito
    New York Daily News
    Tuesday, July 12, 2011
    [Excerpts] A Queens judge has pulled himself off the murder trial of a woman accused of killing her ex-cop husband because of a potential conflict of interest. Barbara Sheehan's lawyer raised questions about whether Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter could be fair since his daughter works for the District Attorney's Office... "It's like the sword of Damocles hanging over my head," Buchter said. Defense lawyer Michael Dowd wants to tell jurors Sheehan had battered-wife syndrome when she fired 11 shots into her husband's back as he shaved... Dowd says he believes that Buchter would be even-handed... [Full article here]

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