Jail sentences have many functions, but one is surely to send a message about what our society abhors and what it values. This week, the equation was twofold: female infidelity twice as bad as male abuse, the life of a woman half as valuable as that of a man. The killing of the woman taken in adultery has a long history and survives today in many cultures. One of those is our own.
Anna Quindlen (b. 1952), U.S. journalist, columnist, author. The New York Times, sect. 1, p. 23 (October 22, 1994).
On the sentence of 18 months given Kenneth Peacock, who killed his wife after he found her in bed with another man, and the sentence three times that length given Patricia Hawkins, who killed her husband after more than a decade of abuse.