State v. Kelly
New Jersey Supreme Court
478 A.2d 364 (1984)
Kelly (defendant) had a rocky marriage with her husband, who for years had beaten her and otherwise abused her. One day, Kelly’s husband attacked her in public and ran at her with his arms raised in a menacing nature. Not knowing whether he was armed or not, Kelly grabbed scissors out of her purse and stabbed her husband, killing him. Kelly was charged with murder, and she claimed self-defense. At trial, Kelly called an expert witness on battered woman syndrome, but her testimony was determined to be inadmissible. Kelly was convicted of reckless manslaughter, a lesser charge. Kelly appealed, claiming that the expert’s testimony should have been admitted at trial.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Wilentz, C.J.)
Concurrence (Handler, J.)
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