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Thread: Barbara Sheehan - Should She Go to Prison?

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    Barbara Sheehan - Should She Go to Prison?

    I did a search and did not see anything about this case.

    I think Sheehan's case presents the unique dilema of is it ever okay to committ murder? She shot her husband dead, an NYPD Police Officer, after allegedly putting up with 18 yrs of abuse. She shot him while he was shaving. Her kids stand behind her and support her claims of awful physical abuse.

    She has yet to stand trial but is going to claim self defense.

    http://www.oprah.com/article/oprahsh...husband-murder

    http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=6169148&page=1

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_c...nd_is_gla.html
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    i would want to know was there any proof she was abused. i see she said she was afraid to go to LE and report him because he was LE. okay, i can understand that but how about going to dr or hospital? perhaps making up excuses how she got hurt, i know some abused women do that.

    i also would want to know when the LE came did they find a gun with him? if so then that would/could show he was holding a gun on her.

    its hard, i know so many women are abused and while i don't believe this is how to handle things i can see where someone feels this is the only way out. especially when your hubby/abuser is the law.

    if its proven its self defense i don't think she should go to jail but i would say she needed some intense councelling so as not to get herself into that type of relationship again. actually the whole family needs it. we don't want the cycle to pass on to the kids. even if they're adults now it seems they lived with it all their lives. there has to be some fallout from that.
    we need to encourage harder sentencing on those that are harming our children. our children are worth it!!

    stop the circus!! these children as all children deserve to be found and justice brought forth for what has happened to them!!


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    Not Very Objective, But I Tried....

    I honestly can't say whether she deserves prison, or if there is any question that the abuse occured. I saw Barbara Sheehan and her daughter on Oprah today (happened to surf by at 4PM my time), and they seemed very genuine in their fear and anguish. Barbara Sheehan spent her entire interview working a tissue around her fingers. Whether this was nerves from being on TV, or telling her story, or embellishing her story, I can't determine.

    My gut tells me that both mother and daughter were seriously traumatized. I can also imagine how someone in LE could intimidate others into believing that their LE connection makes them untouchable by the law.

    The question I had after watching their segment was what drives any batterer/abuser to inflict such torture on their spouses and children. I know that the core of domestic abuse is control, but I just can't fathom what goes thru the abuser's mind when he (being "gender neutral") begins to punch and kick and hit and bloody another human being. Especially one he claims to love. I don't accept that anyone can lose so much self-control that he strikes out in a blind rage. That's a cop-out. How does an abuser explain his actions?
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    I grew up with my father abusing my mother and us. He was so charming to our neighbors and other people. Noone would believe he was a monster behind close doors. They are very good at hiding the way they are.

    They only do it with their families. And their families live in constant fear.

    A child can't understand why a parent hurts them, theylook to the other parent to protect. That parent usually can't because they live in fear.

    We need to stop the abuse! But how--the abuser usually goes right on regardless of protective orders. How many families have been killed with protective orders in place.

    And the very people who are abused will protect their abuser for fear of being homeless, their kids starving, etc. My mother never finished high school, my fathers verbal and physical abuse broke her down to the point where she thought she was stupid and knew she could't get a job and take care of 6 kids. I am in my 50's so when I was growing up people thought kids should be taught their place, etc. Many looked the other way at abuse.

    But pounding with your fists, this isn't disclipne, its abuse. My father would beat my mother she would hide in the woods but she would eventually come in, there was no where to go. Her family wouldn't take her with 6 kids and they didn't want her anyway becaue they feared him.

    My father finally died, I couldn't shed a tear, the years of abuse was all I could think of. I spent years trying to get my brothers and sisters help.

    I think she is innocent..until you have lived it you can't begin to understand the fear. The terror!! You sleep lightly for fear your abuser will rage and you won't run in time.

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    No I don't think she should go to prison. This is like the movie, "The Burning Bed." She had reasonable fear that he would kill her. My opinion: self-defense.

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    i don't mean to question her as they do both seem traumatized. but i was looking at it from the standpoint of what would hold up in court. i think someone who's been abused like this has been thru enough and don't need to be in jail. at the same time i don't think that someone can be just "let go" they killed someone and that in itself has to have some effect on them. that's why i say instead of jail they need intensive therapy. the courts also need to show that this isn't the way to handle things and make sure that there are alternatives for these abused people. i know there are and i'm sure she did also, just in her case he was the law. there has to be some alternative place someone in that situation can turn to that they feel they'll get help.
    we need to encourage harder sentencing on those that are harming our children. our children are worth it!!

    stop the circus!! these children as all children deserve to be found and justice brought forth for what has happened to them!!


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    Take a look at Drew Peterson, he was in LE and thought he could get away with murder not once but twice. I really hope they can find the body of his 4th wife in the blue barrel.
    Ya know it makes me wonder if he killed a female, put her in the barrel that they found and had his brother help him dispose of it to throw off investigaters as to where his 4th wife really is??? Just a thought.
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    Athy - I understand your point. Is there any proof Barbara was actually abused? I thought the same thing. If I were in her shoes I would have documented the abuse myself mostly by taking pictures of my injuries. I think she will have a lot of character witnesses - friends and family - who will testify to witnessing the abuse or the aftermath. While I understand the claim of self defense I don't really believe Barbara's story of what happened that day. I think there is a possibility she had pre-meditated his murder. Either way - if she was abused by this man in the manner in which she claims then he deserved what he got and I don't feel the least bit bad about it.

    I was also in an abusive relationship in my late teens and early 20's and totally understand the mentality that many abused women have. People always ask, why doesn't she just leave? Or they blame the woman because she was 'too stupid' to not get out. It is kind of like going up to a homeless person sleeping on the street in the same tattered, smelly clothes they have had on for 6 months and telling them to get up and get a job. It just isn't that easy.
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    while i've never been in an abusive relationship, well, not physically at least mine was more verbally abusive. when i finally got to a place where i wanted to kill myself and my ex's best friend is telling me i need to get out. i finally ended it. since then the ex and i have become friends and we moved passed it. i was lucky but i have known a few that were and i was able to give them help and a place to stay so they could get out of it.
    we need to encourage harder sentencing on those that are harming our children. our children are worth it!!

    stop the circus!! these children as all children deserve to be found and justice brought forth for what has happened to them!!


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    I'm sorry but there is no excuse for murder except true self defense. I don't think he was very threatening if he was shaving when he was shot. I was in an abusive relationship. I had 2 kids and no money and no where to go. I called a domestic abuse hotline and they helped me get out of there, to a shelter in another state. Within the month I had an apartment and was getting help. There are other options then murder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DairyGirl View Post
    I'm sorry but there is no excuse for murder except true self defense. I don't think he was very threatening if he was shaving when he was shot. I was in an abusive relationship. I had 2 kids and no money and no where to go. I called a domestic abuse hotline and they helped me get out of there, to a shelter in another state. Within the month I had an apartment and was getting help. There are other options then murder.
    ===========
    You are a very lucky person. Not everyone gets the help you got. When I begged for help in 1979 I was told that I needed to go back to my husband that a woman had to put up with certain things in life. When you are not allowed to have friends, or work, or be near relatives or to even have a phone and the abuser is considered a saint in the church, you are pretty much not believed. When I finally escaped with my two children he hunted us with a gun night and day for ten days. I fought back once and was arrested for assault by LE that finally showed up. The judge gave me a chance when I finally got to have my say.........My children and I will never forget what we went through. This woman does not deserve jail but at this point she has lived in hell for 17 years, jail would be a vacation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lonetraveler View Post
    ===========
    You are a very lucky person. Not everyone gets the help you got. When I begged for help in 1979 I was told that I needed to go back to my husband that a woman had to put up with certain things in life. When you are not allowed to have friends, or work, or be near relatives or to even have a phone and the abuser is considered a saint in the church, you are pretty much not believed. When I finally escaped with my two children he hunted us with a gun night and day for ten days. I fought back once and was arrested for assault by LE that finally showed up. The judge gave me a chance when I finally got to have my say.........My children and I will never forget what we went through. This woman does not deserve jail but at this point she has lived in hell for 17 years, jail would be a vacation.
    I agree with you !! Some people are lucky and can get help but there also just as many that can't. I am glad you were able to finally get out.

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    Reading about this, and asking myself the question, should she go to jail....a very simple YES. Turn the whole story around, the man is the one being abused for years (and yes it does happen) and he ends up shooting her in the same senario, wouldnt you think he needed to go to jail?

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    Quote Originally Posted by lonetraveler View Post
    ===========
    You are a very lucky person. Not everyone gets the help you got. When I begged for help in 1979 I was told that I needed to go back to my husband that a woman had to put up with certain things in life. When you are not allowed to have friends, or work, or be near relatives or to even have a phone and the abuser is considered a saint in the church, you are pretty much not believed. When I finally escaped with my two children he hunted us with a gun night and day for ten days. I fought back once and was arrested for assault by LE that finally showed up. The judge gave me a chance when I finally got to have my say.........My children and I will never forget what we went through. This woman does not deserve jail but at this point she has lived in hell for 17 years, jail would be a vacation.
    I left in 1999. Things have gotten a lot better since the 70s. Back then there were few, if any options. Today there are many places to turn.
    I am sorry for what you went through.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JustMe42 View Post
    Reading about this, and asking myself the question, should she go to jail....a very simple YES. Turn the whole story around, the man is the one being abused for years (and yes it does happen) and he ends up shooting her in the same senario, wouldnt you think he needed to go to jail?
    There is a double standard. When Chris Coleman killed his family everyone asked why didn't he just get a divorce. I know the circumstances were different but there are options and people who will listen and help. I felt very trapped but I could no longer put my kids through that. I just don't think murdering her husband was the right option. He was shaving for goodness sake. How threatening could he have been at the sink? I realize that she probably thought she had no choice and I am sad that she felt that way but she ruined her life and her kids life. I don't know if she ever tried to leave or get help but I wish she would have sought out help instead of resorting to murder. Yes, I think she should go to jail. I am sorry for all she went through but murder isn't the answer.

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    If the woman was relentlessly abused, and her friends and family can prove it, I don't believe she should go to prison, especially if there was " a good ole boy" thing going on with law enforcement. In my opinion, wife beaters should get lots of jail time, as much as a murderer. My daughter has been beaten for years by her so called husband and the law won't do anything even though he's a scumbag much less LE. I was threatened with arrest by an LE for daring to complain about a person employed and supervised by them who was showing stalking, violent, and obsessive behaviors towards me, so of course I think the woman should definitely be listened to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JustMe42 View Post
    Reading about this, and asking myself the question, should she go to jail....a very simple YES. Turn the whole story around, the man is the one being abused for years (and yes it does happen) and he ends up shooting her in the same senario, wouldnt you think he needed to go to jail?
    actually no i wouldn't but as with this woman while i wouldn't want him in jail i would want him in intense therapy.
    we need to encourage harder sentencing on those that are harming our children. our children are worth it!!

    stop the circus!! these children as all children deserve to be found and justice brought forth for what has happened to them!!


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    i DO NOT think that murder was the correct way to handle these situations. but i do see where a person could feel this is their only way out. they need some type of "punishment" for their actions to show them that its wrong. but i don't believe jail is the answer. they have been thru enough abuse and to put them in jail is just another abuse. that's why i say intense therapy...that could mean putting them in some type of institution for therapy for a while until they can "get themselves back".
    we need to encourage harder sentencing on those that are harming our children. our children are worth it!!

    stop the circus!! these children as all children deserve to be found and justice brought forth for what has happened to them!!


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    Quote Originally Posted by DairyGirl View Post
    I'm sorry but there is no excuse for murder except true self defense. I don't think he was very threatening if he was shaving when he was shot. I was in an abusive relationship. I had 2 kids and no money and no where to go. I called a domestic abuse hotline and they helped me get out of there, to a shelter in another state. Within the month I had an apartment and was getting help. There are other options then murder.

    I'm glad that it worked out for you but for others it isn't so simple. My daughter left her abusive husband and when to a shelter quite a ways away but she could only stay there for 30 days. She moved in with me after that and a couple months later she got her own place in my apt complex. She got a job as she had to work and also had a 4 yr old. She lived 7 months after she left him. She could have gone to the ends of the earth and he would have found her. LE could have arrested him right after she left him for domestic violence but they refused They did read him his rights and take a mugshot!! A lot of good that did. I wish she had shot him dead before he shot her three times and killed her.

    If this woman shot her husband while his back was turned that was no doubt the only way she felt she could save herself and her children. If she had waited until he was abusing her he would have probably killed her before she could have killed him. I know that is how I would do it if I was in that type of situation. You don't wait until they can get you first.

    My friend was married to an abusive LE officer. He would beat her to a pulp. There were a few times she called the station to report him and she was totally blown off. They or most of them protect their own or they did back then. She finally left him with their 3 kids and nothing but the clothes they had on and took a bus thousands of miles to where I live and she lives now as she had family here.

    No, this woman shouldn't go to prison. She was protecting herself and her children. I hope the kids are allowed to testify at the trial.

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    http://abcnews.go.com/US/woman-shoot...ry?id=14565364

    Sheehan, a mother of two and a school secretary from Queens, N.Y., is on trial for murder. Experts say the trial could be a critical test for the so-called battered-woman defense in which attorneys argue a history of abuse ultimately leads their defendants to kill.

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    I don't think she should go to jail. It is especially hard for wives of cops to report abuse.
    I think he got what he deserved.
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    Seems pretty clear to me. Will be interesting to hear the evidence and verdict.
    I will say from experience that if you are w an abusive cop chances are you cannot go to his supervisor about it and expect them to protect you. JMO. I will def be keeping an eye on this trial.

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    so she didn't intend to kill him but shot him 11 times, even pulling his gun out of his hand after he was down?

    she could've fled at that point (when he was down) even if she felt threatened previously, which I don't believe since he had his back to her and was shaving

    she took the opportunity while she was angry to murder him IMO - yes, perhaps it was revenge for years of abuse but that doesn't equal self-defence

    MOO

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    Quote Originally Posted by LadyL View Post
    so she didn't intend to kill him but shot him 11 times, even pulling his gun out of his hand after he was down?

    she could've fled at that point (when he was down) even if she felt threatened previously, which I don't believe since he had his back to her and was shaving
    she took the opportunity while she was angry to murder him IMO - yes, perhaps it was revenge for years of abuse but that doesn't equal self-defence

    MOO
    He had his back to her and was shaving...he had the gun laying on the bathroom counter right beside him...he had just put it to her head and told her he would kill her if she didn't go on vacation with him. He's not a threat????????

    She ran to the bedroom and picked up the other gun (he only had one of the two he always carried) and thought she'd run past the bathroom door to get away, he saw her and came after her with the gun...she shot him at that point. FGS, read the links. This information was in the above links. I'd sure grab the gun out of his hand too, he might still be alive and able to shoot. IMO, NO, she shouldn't go to jail, she shot him in self defense.

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