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The infanticidal and the criminal law: postpartum disorders and the effectiveness of punishment

Grant number: 11/20693-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2012
Effective date (End): December 31, 2012
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Law - Public Law
Principal researcher:Helena Regina Lobo da Costa
Grantee:Carolina Vieira da Costa
Home Institution: Faculdade de Direito (FD). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The research's intention is to question the infanticide as an isolated crime in the Criminal Code and, mainly, the adequacy of punishment, considering its peculiar characteristics against other crimes and the consequences that entails a penalty to the woman. It's important to consider not only the legal issue in view of an extremely criminal justice system, but also cultural and social issues in the conduct of infanticide, linking social roles in society conditioned women.It is also an object of the work, therefore, the social and psychological analysis of motherhood, its constitute an integral element of the criminal characteristics and provides basis of understanding about woman's behavior in this crime.First, will be an object of the research a concrete analysis based on psychology, obstetrics and legal medicine, in order to better comprehension of postpartum disorders, if it's really able to bring psychological changes in women.In a second moment, it is intended to look after the circumstances of the crime's insertion, through case studies and the analysis of a social construction of maternity.In the end of the research, the crime itself, inside the criminal dogmatic, under the theories of punishment's function and accountability, looking for a new approach for the Brazilian Criminal LawSo, it's important not only just consider the legal question, the criminal system itself, but also the cultural and social valuables mixed together in the infanticidal's action, according on the role women have in the modern society.

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