Sunday, May 3, 2009

On May 3

On this day in ...
... 1990, Canada's Supreme Court ruled unanimously held that women charged with murder could show that they suffered from battered spouse syndrome as a means to proving they acted in self-defense. The decision, written by Justice Bertha Wilson (right), was issued in the case of Angelique Lyn Lavallee of Winnipeg, who had shot her husband to death after years of beatings. A Canadian Broadcasting Co. segment on the ruling is here.
... 1947, the post-World War II Constitution of Japan went into effect. (Video clip here.) (photo credit) The influence of the United States, which had occupied Japan after the war, is evident in the document's very 1st sentence:

We, the Japanese people, acting through our duly elected representatives in the National Diet, determined that we shall secure for ourselves and our posterity the fruits of peaceful cooperation with all nations and the blessings of liberty throughout this land, and resolved that never again shall we be visited with the horrors of war through the action of government, do proclaim that sovereign power resides with the people and do firmly establish this Constitution.

(Prior May 3 posts are here and here.)

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