Sanders v. State
Supreme Court of Georgia
303 S.E.2d 13 (1983)
Lillian Sanders (defendant) was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of her infant daughter, Cassandra. At trial, the evidence showed that Cassandra had been born premature by 12 weeks and had significant health issues. On the night of Cassandra’s death, Sanders went to a neighbor’s house to call for an ambulance and indicated that Cassandra was ill. Emergency personnel arrived to find multiple bruises on Cassandra’s neck, face, chest, and abdomen, as well as blood on Cassandra’s head. Cassandra died shortly thereafter. At the hospital, the police and a worker from child-protective services questioned Sanders, who initially indicated that she did not know what happened to Cassandra. However, Sanders later admitted that she might have dropped Cassandra on the ground and then struck Cassandra to make her stop crying. Medical evidence revealed that the primary cause of Cassandra’s death was a severe head injury. Additionally, Cassandra had multiple contusions all over her body, indicating an ongoing series of blows. At trial, a clinical psychologist for the prosecution testified that Sanders exhibited several characteristics of a battering parent and concluded that Sanders met the criteria for battering-parent syndrome, because she carried forward to her own children a pattern of violent and abusive conduct that she had experienced when she was young. Further, the psychologist stated that Sanders was under ongoing stress caused by money and housing and had a history of using poor social judgment. Sanders was convicted and subsequently appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Bell, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 175,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.