Saturday, June 14, 2008


Gender Bias in the Court Room

An excellent example of gender bias in a local court room in the same newspaper article. Two people apply for shock probation, a man and a woman.

First the woman.
Barber has been incarcerated since Dec. 5, 2007, after being sentenced to seven years on one count of manslaughter and two years on one count of criminal abuse. The two sentences were to run concurrently for a total of seven years in prison.

[Toni] Barber was arrested in November, 2006, and indicted on the charges in December, 2006, following the death of her son, 18-month-old Kaleb Davis, who was found dead inside a van near the family's home in Grange City on Aug. 2, 2006 . Barber's daughter, Rheanna Davis, then 2 1/2 years-old, was also found inside the van, but was unharmed.


[Judge] Nicholls acknowledged what he termed the "strenuous" objections of Commonwealth's Attorney Kathryn B. Hendrickson to granting Barber shock probation,...
Incarcerated in December, 2007, allowed probation in June, 2008. Ms. Barber served 6 months of a 7 year sentence.

Now the man.
In other court news, Nicholls denied defense counsel's request for shock probation for Randall Spencer, who was convicted in January 2008 on one count of reckless homicide in the death of William Bruce Buckler. Spencer is currently serving a two and one-half year prison sentence at the Kentucky Men's State Reformatory.

Spencer was arrested and charged on May 28, 2006, following the stabbing death of Buckler, 29, of Carlisle near Spencer's home on Pea Ridge in what Kentucky State Police described as a domestic situation. A Fleming County jury found Spencer guilty of reckless homicide instead of first-degree manslaughter after three days of testimony.
Mr. Spencer had only received a 2 and a half year sentence. It would be reasonable to assume that his crime is deemed less serious than Ms. Barber's. Yet she gets the shock probation and he stays in prison.

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