‘She Lives in Victim Country’: A Feminist Response to Empathy for Violent Offenders

In this paper, Jeremy argues that jurists should engage directly and empathetically with violent offenders. The paper focuses on two prevalent narratives about Myra Hindley in order to prove this point. The structure of the paper is as follows. Part I recounts the narratives surrounding the lead-up to the capture of the Moors Murderers and the facts of the jury trial. In Part II, the author focuses on the two narratives: the first (and most widespread) contends that Hindley is an icon of evil and that she was, by inference, rightly accorded no compassion; the second positions Hindley as a victim of an abusive upbringing and of Brady’s influence. Part III of the paper looks at the reasons for Hindley’s life-long imprisonment in the context of English and European law. The author contends that Hindley’s case reveals a feminist-infused narrative that compels an empathetic response to violent offenders who have been used as political pawns in criminal sentencing strategies.