28 New Eng. L. Rev. 273 (1993-1994)
Abuse That Dare Not Speak Its Name: Assisting Victims of Lesbian and Gay Domestic Violence in Massachusetts

handle is hein.journals/newlr28 and id is 301 raw text is: Abuse That Dare Not Speak Its Name:
Assisting Victims of Lesbian and Gay
Domestic Violence in Massachusetts
Sandra E. Lundy*
I. INTRODUCTION
On February 14, 1992 (Valentine's Day), seven women incarcerated
in Massachusetts prisons and one woman who was free pending appeal
submitted commutation petitions to the Massachusetts Advisory Board
of Pardons and Massachusetts Governor William F. Weld.' The women,
known collectively as the Framingham Eight, argued that as a matter
of clemency their murder/manslaughter sentences should be commuted
because each was a battered woman who killed her batterer in
self-defense. I use the gender-neutral term batterer because not all of
the alleged batterers were male. Debra Denise Reid, one of the
Framingham Eight petitioners, suffered the nightmare of domestic
violence at the hands of another woman.
Ms. Reid is one of a very few individuals in same-sex relationships
who have raised a battered person's self-defense, and the only woman in
Massachusetts to have done so to date.2 Media coverage of Ms. Reid's
* Sandra E. Lundy is an Associate in the law firm of Fish & Richardson in
Boston, Massachusetts. She received a B.A. from American University, a Ph.D. from
Columbia University, and aJ.D. from Yale University. Ms. Lundy serves as Co-chair
of the Massachusetts Domestic Violence Counsel and is a member of the Board of
Directors of the Massachusetts Lesbian and Gay Bar Association.
1. See Toni Locy, Weld Urged to Free Eight Women, BOSTON GLOBE, Feb. 15, 1992,
at 15 and 17. The sentence of one member of the Framingham Eight, Eugenia
Moore, was commuted by the Massachusetts Governor's Council in April 1993. See
Toni Locy, Woman's Life Sentence is Commuted, BOSTON GLOBE, Apr. 29, 1993, at 1.
A second Framingham Eight petitioner, Meekah Scott, had her sentence reduced
by a Massachusetts Superior Court judge to time served. See Doris Sue Wong,
Woman is Free in Killing of Boyfriend, BOSTON GLOBE, July 2, 1993, at 18. In addition,
Pat Allan's sentence was commuted in September 1993.
2. The author represents Ms. Reid in her petition for commutation before the
Massachusetts Advisory Board of Pardons and Massachusetts Governor William F.
Weld. On October 29, 1990, in what was quoted in the gay press as the first victory
of its kind, prosecutors in Los Angeles County, California successfilly introduced

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