Another Example of Kid Gloves Treatment for Women in the Criminal Justice System?

Scottsdale, AZ–Last year I discussed the Cynthia Joyce Tureman case in this blog post. According to Police: Arizona Woman Drowned Her Newborn to Hide Pregnancy From Husband (Associated Press, 5/2/07):

“A Scottsdale mother accused of holding her newborn under water until the girl stopped moving says she didn’t know she was pregnant until just before giving birth, according to court records. “A police report filed in Maricopa County Superior Court shows that Cynthia Joyce Tureman, 28, told Scottsdale police she was trying to hide her pregnancy from her husband, who had a vasectomy five years ago. “The report says Tureman wrapped the baby in a plastic bag, stowed it in the trunk of her car and took her other three children with her to drop the newborn in a trash bin at a gas station. “Tureman told Scottsdale police that she gave birth in a bathtub filled with a foot of water in the master
bathroom of her Scottsdale home, according to the report. “Tureman was booked Friday on suspicion of first-degree murder. She was jailed without bond in a Maricopa County detention center.”

At the time I wrote:

Guess who’s about to be accused of being a wife-beater? Cynthia Joyce Tureman’s husband, that’s who. This is the story we get now. When we get closer to her trial the story will be more like this: “A desperate Scottsdale mother trapped in an abusive relationship was compelled to kill her baby in order to hide the child from the rage of her abuser. Cynthia Joyce Tureman, a battered mother, had fallen in love with another man and was trying to leave her abusive husband when she became pregnant by the other man.” Tureman will also probably get the standard kid gloves treatment the criminal justice system reserves for women.

A reader who says she knows all of the people involved in the case wrote in and says:

There is no excuse for what she did. My question is why hasn’t this case gone to court yet and why is she out on bail and having access to her children. She thinks she was the victim here but she forgets about all of the lives her chosen actions have destroyed forever. And let’s not forget about the one life that will never be. The girl is strange, to say the least, as many people who know her can testify. Her family is backing her 100%–wonder where she gets the craziness? I just want to know why they are dragging their feet on this–it was murder, she confessed, and they have evidence. Why does it keep getting put off? It’s not complicated. Oh, by the way, her husband was not abusive. She is totally passive aggressive and quite the martyr, as will no doubt come out in court–if they ever choose to prosecute.

Interesting perspective. To learn more about the kid gloves treatment women often receive from the criminal justice system, see my co-authored columns Scott Peterson in a Space Suit (Philadelphia Daily News, 2/26/07) and Suppose Roles Had Been Reversed in Clara Harris Case (Houston Chronicle, 1/27/07) and my blog posts Lisa Nowak, Clara Harris, Terry Barton, and an Incredible Omission and When a Woman Commits a Crime Against a Man, Make Excuses for Her and Undercharge Her.

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