Despite the exceptionally high rates of domestic violence in Alaska, Alaskan jurisprudence affords battered women varied and sparse guidance for the use of their experience as a battered woman in criminal trials. Of the minimal guidance offered, none arises in the form of a binding Alaska Supreme Court opinion, rule of evidence, or governing statute. As one of the few states lacking established jurisprudence on evidence of battered spouse syndrome, Alaska would benefit from a clearer rule regarding the admissibility of battered-spouse-syndrome evidence. This rule would interpret “reasonableness” to include a “reasonable battered woman” standard when the relevant party was battered and claims a related altered perception or extreme emotional disturbance colored her actions. Under this standard, the consequences of the battering inform and define the reasonable person against whom the battered woman is judged.
Admissibility of Battered-Spouse-Syndrome Evidence In Alaska,
32 Alaska Law Review
Available at: http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/alr/vol32/iss1/5