Emotional Trials: Moral Dilemmas of Women Criminal Defense Attorneys (Northeastern Series on Gender, Crime, and Law)

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9781555536145: Emotional Trials: Moral Dilemmas of Women Criminal Defense Attorneys (Northeastern Series on Gender, Crime, and Law)
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Explores how female defense attorneys balance feminist ideology against the defense of men accused of rape and other crimes against women.

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About the Author:

Cynthia Siemsen is Assistant Professor of Sociology at California State University at Chico. Claire Renzetti, editor of the Northeastern Series on Gender, Crime, and Law, is Professor of Sociology at St. Joseph's University. She divides her time between Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Dayton, Ohio.

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Sociologist Siemsen sought to discover how female defense attorneys balance feminist ideology against the defense of men accused of rape and other crimes against women. What she found was that female lawyers working in this area clammed up when she posed the oft-asked question, "How could you defend these men?" So in pursuing her research, she refined her questions: "Given that you defend these men, do you find it troubling?" proved much less threatening. While they do struggle with the core question, most of the lawyers interviewed felt that their belief in a fair trial for everyone supersedes qualms about the crime itself. In fact, many women felt that their work does not "betray" their gender but rather supports the feminist notion that all human beings should be treated equally. Though intended for a scholarly audience, Siemsen's work should attract general readers as well, given the popular interest in the topic. A fascinating look into how female attorneys deal with the moral dilemmas of their work. Mary Frances Wilkens
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