Letters to the Editor

Tuesday, March 2, 2010 at 11:45pm

Battered woman's life should be spared

Gov. Phil Bredesen holds the life of a battered woman in his hands. The state will execute Gaile K. Owens, 57, by lethal injection unless the governor commutes her sentence to life in prison.

Gaile is a victim of severe domestic violence who was arrested in 1985, and later convicted, for hiring a man to kill her abusive husband, Ronald Owens. After exhausting her appeals, her lawyer and two public defenders have filed a formal plea asking Gov. Bredesen to commute her sentence to life in prison. Though she was diagnosed with battered woman’s syndrome, Gaile’s jurors never heard about the physical, emotional and sexual abuse she endured from her husband.

Among nine comparable cases over the past 25 years: two are serving life sentences, six have received probation or early parole, while only Gaile is facing death. Unless Gov. Bredesen commutes Gaile’s sentence, she will be the first woman executed by the state since 1820.

Not only were there very few, if any, resources for a battered woman in the early 1980s, but a woman who has suffered severe and consistent abuse is not in a competent state of mind. Gov. Bredesen should commute Gaile Owens’ sentence to life in prison, and save the state from executing a battered woman.

Caitlin O’Leary, 37215

 

Send comments and letters via email to editor@nashvillecitypaper.com

240 Comments on this post:

By: bfra on 3/3/10 at 9:13

DustyU's grandson (Brian) - Read you post late 3-2 PM and glad to hear Dusty is improving. With what he has been through, if will take time. Also, please let us know if you hear from JimmyU, have read Chad is in a lot of trouble to date.

By: Kosh III on 3/3/10 at 9:13

"All these "names" are generated from the marketing Dept. of the huge Pharma's.
Watch any newshow at 5:30pm and 80% of the ads are for some physical condition called a "name", and ah-ha....you've got it."

Like that inane commercial about dry eyes or even worse, medication for too short eyelashes. Puhleeeeeze

By: bfra on 3/3/10 at 9:15

Kosh - Now the one of growing eyelashes, is a must have, NOT

By: bfra on 3/3/10 at 9:17

The side effects on most of these meds, gets me. If you aren't real sick before you take them, you definitely will be after.

By: BenDover on 3/3/10 at 9:20

Winkler's hubby was a preacher. Perfect fodder for the Lifetime Movie of the Week abused-wife meme.

By: bfra on 3/3/10 at 9:25

Ben - If that did happen, any money should be put in a trust for the children and fixed that she could never touch it in her lifetime.

By: dargent7 on 3/3/10 at 9:25

bfra: 20 years ago, was there ED, "erectile dysfunction"? No.
All of of a sudden it just, "sprang up"? Hardly.

All the women on this board are so sympathetic to "battered women's syndrome", since they're experts in domestic violence, it's root causes and affects, judicial rule of law, and men, why don't they tackle the larger issues?
Once the Police are called, it's too late.

By: bfra on 3/3/10 at 9:28

d7 - I am no more sympathetic to battered women than battered men! I am sympathetic of the one that is being abused, either sex. No one has the right to abuse their mate or spouse.

By: dargent7 on 3/3/10 at 9:30

K-3: You take on the resident "lab rat", "House".
Read the "contra-indications" on the back page of all the advertised pharmaceticals in any magazine.
It's two-three pages of "suicidal thoughts", "depression", "homicide" "rectal dysfunction".
Taking any combo of these bullsh**t drugs will make your condition worse.
Some diabetic drug was just implicated last week for killing people of heart attacks...but, "their blood sugar, at the time of death, was low"....

By: Kosh III on 3/3/10 at 9:36

"The side effects on most of these meds, gets me. If you aren't real sick before you take them, you definitely will be after"

The one that gets me is the warning about ED "call your doctor if an erection lasts longer than 4 hours."
Hummphhfff
If it lasts that long, most men will call their wife/whatever and go for another round or three.

By: dargent7 on 3/3/10 at 9:37

bfra: If it happens once...well, maybe. If it happens twice, it's a pattern and time to go. Period. Don't need psychologist's calling it a "name", writing a paper on it, developing a drug for it, and selling it.
Get Out!

By: sidneyames on 3/3/10 at 9:40

Loner said "Gov. Bredesen has hardened his heart on many issues, this is one prime example. Living in the Od Confederacy all these years has trabsformed him from a sharp NY liberal into a dull Southern Cracker. He's all yours now."

But Loner is Bredesen the only gov. to NOT commute a sentence?

In 1980 my ex-husband kicked me in the back at 11:30 p.m. and then left the apartment. By 4:30 a.m. I was packed and gone and quickly divorced. In 1994 he tracked me down; called to apologize for his inappropriate behavior. I accepted his apology; later realized he was working his NA steps. That does not excuse physical abuse, but at least he has stopped the drugs. My dad never hit my sister or me, so it's a darn sure fact that no man will get away with it.

The women on this post have more indepth information about being battered eithr personally or through their friends and you guys should take some notes. It's a serious topic in our country and one that is often tucked away in fear of not being believed or embarrassment.

By: bfra on 3/3/10 at 9:40

d7 - The way you put this on the board, it looks like I posted this, which I didn't:

bfra: 20 years ago, was there ED, "erectile dysfunction"? No.
All of of a sudden it just, "sprang up"? Hardly.

By: sidneyames on 3/3/10 at 9:54

By: bfra on 3/3/10 at 9:28
d7 - I am no more sympathetic to battered women than battered men! I am sympathetic of the one that is being abused, either sex. No one has the right to abuse their mate or spouse.

D7 I sort of agree with bfra; I"m sympathetic to the abused person. Sometimes their childhood makes the a target.

And the meds on t.v. are funny. I mean who wants a great sex drive when it comes with all those negative side effects?

By: dargent7 on 3/3/10 at 10:01

Sid: "Battered Men" in the same context of "battered women" is a joke and totally false.
"Battering" is physical. That's when the Police step in.
You cannot be arrested for being a "meanie", or, "he doesn't respect me".
Psychological torment, now, that's a woman's game.
But, it's not illegal.
It's called marriage.

By: house_of_pain on 3/3/10 at 10:03

We're in the South, d7...everything here is battered...then fried until delicious.

By: dargent7 on 3/3/10 at 10:07

House: I wonder how many "LMAO" 's you'll get from the female constituents on this board based on your post?

By: MamaG on 3/3/10 at 10:10

Darge, I have to say I think you're FOS on the subject of battered men not being a serious thing.

By: MamaG on 3/3/10 at 10:12

LMAO, House! (LOL)
House, have you ever been to "Batter'd and Fried?" They have pretty good food!

By: house_of_pain on 3/3/10 at 10:13

Never been there. Sounds like my kind of place, though.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 3/3/10 at 10:13

By: house_of_pain on 3/3/10 at 10:03
We're in the South, d7...everything here is battered...then fried until delicious.

HA!

By: MamaG on 3/3/10 at 10:20

It's located on Woodland St., between 10th & 11th (I think). Check it out sometime.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/3/10 at 10:21

By: BenDover on 3/3/10 at 5:26
I'm not sure about the specifics of this case but since the state executed Workman without considering the felony murder evidence and with all of the prosecutorial malfeasance I have no confidence in its ability to judiciously manage the power of the death penalty.
_________________________________________________________________
Good morning.

This is a subject that Ben and I can agree on. Too many not guilty people are sent to prison and some are murder by the State.

10,000 INNOCENT PEOPLE CONVICTED EACH YEAR, STUDY ESTIMATES
http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/ronhuff.htm

By: slacker on 3/3/10 at 10:22

I think I will have some battered okra later.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/3/10 at 10:23

From yesterday

By: sidneyames on 3/2/10 at 11:40
And I must confess, now I know why I can't get my Dave Ramsey budget right. I can't add. Multiply. or Divide!
So much for MY private school education!

Sid graduating from privet school picture
http://www.suffolkdogschool.co.uk/communities/1/004/007/038/681/images/4527446037.jpg

By: MamaG on 3/3/10 at 10:25

I had some of that Sunday, slacker. It was de-lish, too!

By: dooley on 3/3/10 at 10:27

funditto , This womans own family and friends said that her husband was not abusive. Maybe he was the one being abused. It happens you know.

By: dooley on 3/3/10 at 10:31

I agree ben. Good post.

By: dargent7 on 3/3/10 at 10:32

Some of you people ARE in fact mentally imbalanced.
I try, in vain, to have a serious discussion about "battered women", and the local crackpot throws in a joke...and the dumb "broads" clap in approval.
Another witch asks, "Well, how many times have you been married"?

Any "man" who can't fend off a woman, physically, isn't a "man".
They're called emasculated and are lucky to be called, "girlie men".

Any wonder why "Vinnie" almost CXL'd this board?

By: Captain Nemo on 3/3/10 at 10:33

I was married to a northern woman for 30 yrs and she was a much better person than the southern woman I was married to first. This is not to say that the people in the north are better than the south, because you will find both good and bad people in all regions of the world.

By: sidneyames on 3/3/10 at 10:35

House, you are sooooo funny.

By: dargent7 on 3/3/10 at 10:01
Sid: "Battered Men" in the same context of "battered women" is a joke and totally false.
"Battering" is physical. That's when the Police step in.

D7 there are men and women who are psychologically battered. And there are cases where women have "beaten" their husbands. I know you are not one of those guys who lets your wife beat you up, but trust us women on the board - it happens.

Sometimes you just have to trust us girls, D7. Right Mama and other women?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 3/3/10 at 10:35

dargent, check out this link and educate yourself a little when it comes to domestic violence:

http://www.now.org/issues/violence/stats.html

recognizing that this is a real issue and knowing first hand how the "system" does or doesn't work to protect victims doesn't make me or any other "broad" imbalanced. it just proves that you are acting like a prick.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 3/3/10 at 10:40

A person 5 feet tall and 100 pounds soaking wet can still be an abuser. They don't have to be physically superior to throw something at you, attack you when you're not looking, get in a lucky shot while you're trying to defend yourself, set your car on fire, cut up all your clothes, unleash lies to friends, family, or police, harass you at work until you loose your job, etc. etc.

http://www.aardvarc.org/dv/malevictims.shtml

By: dooley on 3/3/10 at 10:41

Strong words blanket.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 3/3/10 at 10:42

for a very dangerous subject, dooley.

By: MamaG on 3/3/10 at 10:43

Darge, men may be able to "fend for themselves" against women but, any decent man isn't going to HIT back. That is why it goes on and for the reason that some men's EGOs may not allow them to report said abuse for fear of looking like a girlie-man.
Remember where you are posting--of course we're going to make and laugh at each other's jokes! Sheesh!!!

I'm chipped off now because my local Krystal has closed--poof, just out of the blue! It has been a staple here in East Nashville and now, it is no more...I'm really sad about this!

By: Blanketnazi2 on 3/3/10 at 10:43

In 1991, 5,745 women in the United States died as a result of homicide.
Six in every 10 women who are victims of homicide were murdered by someone they knew. About half of these women were murdered by a spouse or someone with whom they had been intimate.
Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15-44.
Every 21 days, a woman is killed by domestic violence.
Children are involved in 60 percent of domestic violence cases.
More than three million children witness acts of domestic violence each year.
Up to 50 percent of all homeless women and children in this country are fleeing domestic violence.
One in ten calls made to alert police of domestic violence is placed by a child in the home.
More than 53 percent of male abusers beat their children.
One of every three abused children becomes an adult abuser or victim.
Victims and abusers are found in every social and economic class, race, religious group, and sexual orientation.
Factors such as poverty, single-parent households headed by women, and parents with less than a high school education were found to be more common among families suffering abuse.

http://www.athealth.com/Consumer/Disorders/DomViolFacts.html

By: sidneyames on 3/3/10 at 10:43

10,000 INNOCENT PEOPLE CONVICTED EACH YEAR, STUDY ESTIMATES

Captain, I'm curious. How many total people, including innocent ones, are convicted each year.

Captain's response to my post yesterday: Sid graduating from privet school picture

Capt. it was a joke. I didn't go to private (or privet as you say) school. Sorry I thought you knew I was joking.

D7, supposing you are correct in saying this: "Some of you people ARE in fact mentally imbalanced." Where are those "facts" posted?

Stop getting upset; it's just a conversation in the newspaper. Some men who are battered have been raised not to hit women so the women take advantage of them.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/3/10 at 10:50

There is Verbal abuse to consider.

By: brrrrk on 3/3/10 at 10:52

If we'd do away with capital punishment like every other civilized country in the world we wouldn't even be having this discussion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Use_of_capital_punishment_by_nation

By: slacker on 3/3/10 at 10:55

nemo, would: ''hey bitch fix my breakfast, and I don't want any runny eggs'', be considered verbal abuse?

By: brrrrk on 3/3/10 at 10:58

Not to mention the cost of maintaining a justice system that still embraces capital punishment.... where's the fiscal conservatives on that issue?

"Death penalty trials cost an average of 48% more than the average cost of trials in which prosecutors seek life imprisonment. Tennessee District Attorneys General are not consistent in their pursuit of the death penalty."

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/costs-death-penalty

By: bfra on 3/3/10 at 11:00

slacker - Not if you say "Honey" first! Oh and leave out the "bitch".

By: slacker on 3/3/10 at 11:02

bfra, that's what I told her.

By: bfra on 3/3/10 at 11:02

Blanket - You made house happy, you included "broad".

By: bfra on 3/3/10 at 11:05

slacker - I thought as much! (S)

By: Captain Nemo on 3/3/10 at 11:05

I served on a criminal jury. It was not a capital punishment crime so I had no objection in serving. We sent a man to prison for 17 yrs for sexual assault and battery of his neighbor. I had no regret in my participation of sending him to prison, because I knew that if there had been any mistake against this man and he was innocent that he would still be alive and my guilt would not be that I sent an innocent man to his death.

In my opinion Capital Punishment is legalized Cold Blooded Murder.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/3/10 at 11:07

By: slacker on 3/3/10 at 10:55
nemo, would: ''hey bitch fix my breakfast, and I don't want any runny eggs'', be considered verbal abuse?

Yes it would slacker and if I was you I would not put up with it. lol

By: bfra on 3/3/10 at 11:09

In my opinion Capital Punishment is legalized Cold Blooded Murder.

Same thing that Winkler did, then our justice system legalized it!

By: sidneyames on 3/3/10 at 11:09

By: slacker on 3/3/10 at 10:55
nemo, would: ''hey bitch fix my breakfast, and I don't want any runny eggs'', be considered verbal abuse?

Slacker, you could fix your own over medium well eggs at my house, or you could be nice and I'd fix them with biscuits, peppercorn bacon, oven baked cheddar cheese pancake, coffee (fresh ground) and O.J. freshly squeezed.

If you called me a bitch, I'd throw the plate at you.