Is the spousal abuse defense being abused?

Posted Nov. 16, 2009, at 4:09 p.m.

Amber Cummings, the Belfast woman who police say shot and killed her husband last year, will serve one year in prison as the result of a plea agreement. The dead man, who was sympathetic to Adolf Hitler and had plans to build a “dirty bomb” he wanted to explode at President Barack Obama’s inauguration, sexually, physically and emotionally abused his wife. Is this a double standard? Would a man fare as well in the justice system, if the roles were reversed? Or is this a case in which Ms. Cummings was defending her

life and that of her daughter?