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Criminal Law Keyed to Gershowitz
State v. Stewart
Citation:243 Kan. 639, 763 P.2d 572.
The defendant, Peggy Stewart, fatally shot her husband while he was sleeping. She contended that she shot her husband in self-defense. Expert evidence showed that Peggy Stewart suffered from the battered woman syndrome. Evidence at trial disclosed a long history of abuse by the husband against Stewart and her two daughters. The night before she shot him, the husband threatened to kill Stewart if she ever ran away from him and forced her to have oral sex several times.
The State appealed, requesting that the Court answer the legal question presented by this case. The State stipulated that Stewart “suffered considerable abuse at the hands of her husband,” but argued that the trial court erred in giving a self-defense instruction since Stewart was in no imminent danger when she shot her sleeping husband.
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