Jordan Graham, 22 years of age, had been married to Cody Johnson, 25, for just eight days when he “fell” to his death off a cliff located in Glacier Park, Montana.
Jordan initially spun a web of pure and utter bullshit, and then eventually admitted that oh, oops, she pushed Cody off the cliff. Because they had been arguing and he beat her mercilessly grabbed her arm. To the surprise of no one, including Cody’s family, Jordan is up on murder charges.
Because the crime happened in a federal park, she is not being charged under Montana statutes, but under federal ones, which distinguish between different types of murder.
First degree murder is when a killing is planned and carried out.
Second degree murder is when someone is killed, but it wasn’t planned.
Jordan lied about what happened, pushed Cody FROM BEHIND and most importantly, she left him there to die. And prosecutors don’t think they can make a first degree charge stick?
Occam’s Razor: the simplest explanation is likely correct.
Jordan wooed Cody to the edge of the cliff and when his back was turned, she shoved him over. She planned it. Picked a good spot and got him to turn his back.
And then he fell for her all over again.
The way we treat people in the criminal justice system is ground zero in the definition of human rights. Justice is blind. Any time justice sees skin color or class or ability or gender and applies a harsher penalty to some humans on the basis of one of those factors, that human’s basic rights have been violated.
A conviction for first degree murder in the United States carries the possibility of the death penalty. I don’t agree with the death penalty precisely because it is not applied to ALL humans fairly and equally.
The people most likely to receive the death penalty?
Black men who kill non-blacks.
And that is bullshit.
Who is least likely to receive the death penalty?
One percent of men convicted of murder are sentenced to death, while only one tenth of one percent of women convicted of murder are sentenced to death.
In general, both the death sentencing rate and the death row population remain very small for women in comparison to that for men. Actual execution of female offenders is quite rare, with only 571 documented instances as of 12/31/2012, beginning with the first in 1632. These executions constitute about 2.9% of the total of confirmed executions in the United States since 1608.
Curious silence from the feminist brigade when it comes to making sure men and women are treated equally before the law, no? In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Feminists argue that women should not be in jail, period. In the UK, the Women’s Justice Taskforce is making headway in eliminating women’s prisons altogether.
Roma Hooper, director of Make Justice Work, which campaigns to reform short-term prison sentences, said: “The increasing incarceration of women is a disgraceful situation which must be challenged.”
Well, that’s one way to eliminate gender disparity in sentencing. Just make sure women don’t get sentenced at all.
Lest anyone think that such a blatantly discriminatory and sexist policy is beyond the tolerance of the government and the British public, it should be noted that it was only last year that British judges were recommended to issue lighter sentences to women offenders, regardless of their offense. That recommendation was issued by the Equal Treatment Bench Book, published by the Judicial Studies Board (JSB).
Yes, that is correct, the Equal Treatment Bench Book recommended that half the population, based solely on sex, should get lighter sentences for the same crimes than the other half.
Gee, what can go wrong with that? Women will really be able to “Lean In” to their criminal careers in the UK, won’t they? Those two guys who slaughtered Pt. Rigby in broad daylight only need to get their girlfriends to wield the machetes next time.
Oh, but wait, women never commit those kinds of atrocities, right?
Sweet little ole grannies would never hack an intruder to death with an axe, right? Maybe granny was well justified, but the idea that women don’t engage in brutal bloodshed when provoked is a joke.
The question is “what provoked her”?
Mens rea. It means “guilty mind”. Criminal intent.
And that really should be the only thing that factors into deciding if Jordan is guilty of first degree murder. But it’s not.
Jordan is a woman, and therefore she gets a pass. It begins with not even facing the harshest penalty. 2nd degree murder? And it will continue right up to conviction and sentencing.
Male violent offenders receive, on average, an additional 4.49 years on their sentences compared to women, while gender differences for property and drug crime (3.14 and 2.35 years, respectively) are considerably lower.
Why is this? Why do women get the pussy pass? What is the rationale behind lenient sentencing for women, even when they commit the exact same crime as men?
The Chivalry Thesis posits that women are seen as less morally culpable than men, and are therefore treated delicately and absolved of responsibility.
The Chivalry Thesis posits that gendered stereotypes about both women and men inﬂuence sentencing outcomes according to the sex of offenders. Sometimes called paternalism, chivalry asserts that women are stereotyped as ﬁckle and childlike, and therefore not fully responsible for their criminal behavior. Women therefore need to be protected by males who, with all due gallantry, are portrayed as wanting to minimize any pain or suffering women might experience.
The Chivalry Thesis predicts that women will receive more lenient sentencing for stereotypically female crimes, like shoplifting. The more “feminine” the crime, the more men will feel the need to protect the poor darling, and make sure her sentence doesn’t cause her any suffering. When women commit manly crimes like murder, the Chivalry Thesis predicts that women will be treated harshly because they are violating gender norms as well as the law.
But that doesn’t seem to be the case. Women get even more lenient sentencing when their crimes are strongly associated with men and masculinity.
So what is going on? Why do we, as a culture, sentence women more lightly, assuming we can even be bothered to charge and convict them?
Females arrested for a crime are also significantly more likely to avoid charges and convictions entirely, and twice as likely to avoid incarceration if convicted.
It’s tempting to jump on the “women are helpless and never responsible for anything they do” meme because it is so strongly related to feminist thought. #rapeculture
But disparity in sentencing has been going on for a very, very long time.
Here’s my theory: it’s a key part of the Myth of Male Dominance aka “patriarchy”. A word on “patriarchy”, if I may. At no point in our collective North American history has it ever been acceptable to kill a woman for no reason OTHER than the fact that she’s a woman with two notable exceptions, one of which is not an exception at all, and one of which is a “right” fiercely protected by feminists.
1. During slavery, it was acceptable to kill a woman if she happened to be black. In other words, it was acceptable to kill SLAVES. Men and women alike.
2. It is acceptable, and remains acceptable to this day, to kill women who are not yet born.
You have to go all the way back to the Salem Witch Trials to find the wholesale slaughter of women, and even then, a sham trial was enacted. The principle of justice may have been adulterated beyond recognition, but it still held enough sway to convince adjudicators that a “trial” was required.
Oh, and a shitload of men were killed in Salem, too.
I’ve written about this research before, but it’s such a hidden gem of ignored scholarship that I think it’s worth quoting at length again.
…although peasant males monopolize positions of authority and are shown public deference by women, thus superficially appearing to be dominant, they wield relatively little real power. Theirs is a largely powerless authority, often accompanied by a felt sense of powerlessness, both in the face of the world at large and of the peasant community itself.
…a non-hierarchical power relationship between the categories “male” and “female” is maintained in peasant society by the acting out of a “myth” of male dominance.
The perpetuation of this “myth” is in the interests of both peasant women and men, because it gives the latter the appearance of power and control over all sectors of village life, while at the same time giving to the former actual power over those sectors of life in the community which may be controlled by villagers. The two sex groups, in effect, operate within partially divergent systems of perceived advantages, values, and prestige, so that the members of each group see themselves as the “winners” in respect to the other.
Neither men nor women believe that the “myth” is an accurate reflection of the actual situation. However, each sex group believes (or appears to believe, so avoiding confrontation) that the opposite sex perceives the myth as reality, with the result that each is actively engaged in maintaining the illusion that males are, in fact, dominant.
Now, the reality is that men still overwhelmingly control the justice system in the United States.
Most police officers are men.
In 2007, about 1 in 8 local police officers were women, compared to 1 in 13 in 1987.
Most judges are men.
State Final Appellate Jurisdiction Courts: 116 women / 361 total (32%)
State Intermediate Appellate Jurisdiction Courts: 316 women / 977 total (32%)
State General Jurisdiction Courts: 2,768 women / 11,049 total (25%)
State Limited and Special Jurisdiction Courts: 1,596 women / 5,072 total (31%)
State Court Judges in the US: 4,711 women / 17,489 total (27%)
Most criminal defense lawyers are men.
Today women make up 31 percent of practicing lawyers in the United States and just over 20 percent of National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) members.
Men are very firmly in control of the judiciary, which is an institution of formalized power. It’s an area where the myth of male dominance plays out – a trade we all make to disguise the fact that women continue to wield a disproportionate amount of the real power.
Feminism is interested in hanging on to all the traditional, informal power of women, and indeed tries hard to formalize that power into laws where women and men’s power intersect: child custody, divorce and alimony being prime examples, while attempting to wrest formal power from men.
Feminists want both powers: formal and informal.
Two problems with that little project:
Where does that leave men?
What do you think the world will look like if feminists succeed in making men socially powerless and then humiliating them to boot? Feminists are nowhere near that goal when it comes to the men who command the formal institutions of power, but they have certainly created a world in which men who don’t have access to those formal institutions – meaning MOST men – have indeed been rendered powerless.
Second problem? Feminists have not considered what they will be giving up when the “myth” is shattered.
To put it bluntly, they will be giving up the privileges that have always accompanied women, including the right to lenient treatment when sisters go off the fucking rails and shove their husbands off cliffs.
The reason the judiciary is still enmeshed in treating women more leniently is precisely BECAUSE the judiciary is still in the control of men, with the exception of family courts.
The myth of patriarchy ultimately protects women, even the ones who are very, very unworthy of protection.
But it requires a trade.
Given the fact that peasant women actually wield considerable amounts of power, several anomalies remain: both men and women behave publicly as if males were dominant, while at the same time male peasants seem to be characterized by a felt lack of power. I suggested a model to explain these apparent contradictions, in which male dominance is seen to operate as a myth, while a balance is actually maintained between the informal power of women and the overt power wielded by men. Furthermore, the power of both depends on the persistence of the myth, which itself is maintained by a degree of ignorance on the part of both groups as to how the system actually operates.
Ultimately, it comes down to understanding, and respecting one another. And understanding that when humans fail, men or women, we embrace the myths of our society so we can all keep functioning.
The most important point to be made is that it is only when we stop looking at male roles and forms of power as the norm and begin to look at female arrangements as equally valid and significant, though perhaps different in form, that we can see how male and female roles are intertwined and so begin to understand how human societies operate.
In the case of lenient sentencing for women who are monsters, powerful men send a message to all the other women that they will not be held accountable for the actions of monstrous sisters. All of which depends on women being, by and large, not terribly monstrous.
Men sentence other men more harshly because they hold them to a higher standard when it comes to respecting formal power, because formal power IS male power.
Modern, liberal feminism has shattered the myth. Feminists rage and scream and cry at the power men wield in the formal institutions that govern our world, but refuse to relinquish one iota of their traditional informal power.
Of course there is a price to pay for surrendering formal power in favor of informal power. It means that our sons, our brothers, our fathers, our nephews, our cousins, our friends can be shoved off a cliff and the murderess will face little to no consequence for that.
In return for that sacrifice, we get the protection of men.
Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.
It’s really what it comes down to. Do you value men or do you not?
It’s seems almost obscene to say that valuing men means you are willing to sacrifice a few to murderous women, but in truth, the only obscene thing is that women are prepared to sacrifice those men without giving up any of their own privileges.
Pick one. Men protect us. Or they sentence us.
In equal measure.
We cannot have both.
Lots of love,