New findings on the punishment of femicide in one Canadian jurisdiction were released this month in Current Sociology. Author Myrna Dawson, a UG Sociology Professor, drew upon her ongoing study of femicide in Ontario to examine punishment outcomes in these cases during the past four decades – a period of significant transformation in social and legal responses to violence against women. Dawson compared punishment outcomes in cases involving female and male homicide victims, across femicide subtypes and over time. Results show that femicide cases attract more punitive court responses overall than cases involving male victims; intimate and familial femicides are treated more leniently at several stages than other femicides; and, finally, there have been positive changes in the criminal justice treatment of femicide over time, paralleling changing legislative and policy responses. Dawson cautions, however, that there are priorities for future research to address the role played by dominant stereotypes in law’s response to some types of femicide that can shed more light on court responses to these cases. Current Sociology is the official journal of the International Sociological Association and one of the oldest sociology journals in the world.
Read the full article, “Punishing femicide: Criminal justice responses to the killing of women over four decades.”