Murder and the Reasonable Man: Passion and Fear in the Criminal Courtroom

By Cynthia Lee | Go to book overview

2
Unreasonable Women,
Gay Men, and Men of Color

HETEROSEXUAL MALE INFIDELITY

Betty was seventeen when she met Dan. It was love at first sight. Dan, who had just been accepted to Cornell Medical School, began writing to Betty every day, signing his letters, “Love, D” with an “X” representing a kiss. They were married in April 1969, and soon Betty was pregnant with the first of four children. After receiving his medical degree, Dan decided to go to law school so he could realize his dream of becoming a millionaire before the age of forty. It was Betty's dream too. Whatever her husband wanted, she was there to support him. The two moved to Cambridge where Dan attended Harvard Law School. Betty worked a part-time night job at a department store and babysat during the day to pay the bills. She got pregnant again and bore their second child. After Dan graduated from law school, he landed a job as an associate at Gray, Cary Ames and Frye, a large law firm in San Diego. Because his income was only $30,000 per year, the family lived in a low-rent apartment and Betty worked nights at a restaurant to help pay the bills. Once they had saved enough money, the family moved to La Jolla, and Betty bore a third child.

In 1978, Dan decided to leave Gray Cary and set up his own law practice. Dan was an instant success. In the first three months on his own, he made more money than he had ever made in one year at the law firm. Soon after, Betty became pregnant with their fourth child. Although Dan's law practice was booming, Dan began coming home later and later. Sometimes he would sneak out at nights after Betty had gone to bed. Betty suspected Dan was having an affair with Linda Kolkena, a young woman who worked as a receptionist in Dan's office building (and bore an uncanny resemblance to Betty in her younger days). In 1983, Dan hired Linda to work

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Murder and the Reasonable Man: Passion and Fear in the Criminal Courtroom
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I - Crimes of Passion (The Doctrine of Provocation) 15
  • 1: Female Infidelity 17
  • 2: Unreasonable Women, Gay Men, and Men of Color 46
  • 3: Gay Panic 67
  • 4: Culture and Crime 96
  • Part II - Crimes of Fear (The Doctrine of Self-Defense) 125
  • 5: An Overview of the Doctrine of Self-Defense 127
  • 6: Race and Self-Defense 137
  • 7: Race and Police Use of Deadly Force 175
  • Part III - Rethinking Reasonableness 201
  • 8: The Elusive Meaning of Reasonableness 203
  • 9: Toward a Normative Conception of Reasonableness 226
  • 10: The Act-Emotion Distinction 260
  • Conclusion 276
  • Notes 279
  • Bibliography 349
  • Index 365
  • About the Author 371
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