Intimate Femicide: A Study of Sentencing Trends for Men Who Kill Their Intimate Partners


  • Isabel Grant



This article examines sentencing trends over the past 18 years for men who kill their intimate partners. Using a sample of 252 cases, the article demonstrates that sentences for second degree murder rose significantly after the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Shropshire but have more recently levelled off to a range that is still higher than the pre-Shropshire era. With respect to manslaughter, the amendments to the Criminal Code making the spousal nature of the crime an aggravating factor and changing social attitudes have resulted in increasingly severe sentences for spousal manslaughters. While a large number of the cases in this sample involved the intoxication of the accused and/or the victim, the defence of intoxication rarely reduced murder to manslaughter. Similarly, the number of successful provocation defences was lower than expected.