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Scott Lecture: Professor Carolyn Ramsey on "Intimate-Partner Violence and State Intervention: A New Historical Perspective"

This year's Austin W. Scott, Jr. lecture is "Intimate-Partner Violence and State Intervention: A New Historical Perspective" by Professor Carolyn Ramsey.

Carolyn Ramsey joined the faculty of Colorado Law School in 2001. She teaches courses in criminal law, criminal procedure, gender issues, and legal history. She graduated from Stanford Law School with distinction in 1998 and served as a law clerk for Chief Judge Marilyn Hall Patel of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California and Judge Paul J. Kelly, Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. In addition to her law degree, Professor Ramsey received graduate training as a social historian at Stanford University. This background stimulates her interest in the way the law is used either to enforce or to create cultural norms. She is widely published on historical and modern aspects of criminal law, criminal procedure, and gender issues. In 2007, her article, Intimate Homicide: Gender and Crime Control, 1880-1920, won the Jules Milstein Faculty Scholarship Award at the University of Colorado Law School. In addition to her recent work on public responses to intimate-partner violence, Professor Ramsey researches the legal history of criminal procedure and writes about modern criminal law reform.

Tonight, she will discuss research from her published articles and her book-in-progress that sheds new light on public attitudes toward intimate-partner violence, the role of police and prosecutors in seeking to prevent and punish such violence, and the way courts and juries viewed defense claims by men and women charged with murdering their partners. Her work calls into question common assumptions about sex bias in the criminal law and public tolerance of wife-beating. It also suggests that changing gen-der roles and the “medicalization” of the law made it more difficult for abused women to obtain justice in criminal courts in the second half of the twentieth century. Although Professor Ramsey’s lecture will focus on historical examples, it may spark discussion about modern domestic violence laws and policies.

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Speakers Carolyn Ramsey