We have long discussed the plight of young girls in Muslim nations who have been handed over as child brides in arranged marriages. Wasila Umaru, 14, however, decided not to go quietly into a marriage with a 35-year-old man. She made a meal for the groom and three friends and poisoned them all to death.
Umaru used rat poison for the murderers — just one week after her arranged marriage.
The question is how the law should treat a young girl in such a circumstance. Her family and her community had abandoned her and subjected her to a marriage that would be considered a form of rape in many countries. Yet, she reportedly committed four murders.
In some countries, she could claim a battered spouse defense. These cases often involve responses where women killed in atypical ways and often after attack or abuse has occurred. I have seen cases in my career where women have killed days after an attack. including one years ago where a woman drenched her husband with gasoline and lit him on fire.
How much of a mitigating factor should the age and arranged marriage be in such a case? Do you think it could be a complete defense as a form of insanity?
Source: Montreal Gazette
36 thoughts on “Family Gives Away 14-Year-Old Girl In Arranged Marriage . . . Girl Kills 35-Year-Old Groom and Three Friends With Rat Poison”
If a country makes it legal to cut off a teenager’s clitoris (torture her) and then rape her (put her in a marriage where she will be raped by a man whenever he wants to have sex with her, without her consent) then of course she should entre a battered spouse plea
. While killing people is not okay, she had no other recourse to self-defense. She couldn’t flee; she was too young too work. So yes, a battered spouse defense is appropriate — or at least to some extent. I am not in a courtroom and do not understand the details. However, how can the state rape and torture without punition, and then an individual has no recourse — and that is okay? It is not.
My thoughts go out to the 14 year old…any more info on her or the status…Thats awful the way their laws are set up..
I truly feel bad for Wasila.. She feels remorse for what she did, and in her mind at the time it was her only way out. I kept thinking why didn’t she just run away and not do this? But where would she go? I hope the Nigerian laws aren’t too harsh on her as she is only 14 years old. I bet she is not allowed any kind of mail from the outside or help from US.. in regards to this matter.
I think they should respect the widow…….
Questions ignored. Just shoot them all with a camera, and stay out of WI. That’s all you have to think about.
When will governments & people learn that unjust laws are anathema. Yet every day we are told to go along to get along – accept the flow of mendaciousness. Like that 40yr Congress tax code – few people understand.
She lives in Nigeria? Without further ado…
Due to the immense poverty and apparent hopeless situation of ordinary working people in Nigeria many of the old superstitions still survive today.
Some years ago, 1995 to be precise, the nation woke to the horrifying story of two children whose fingers were burnt by the Prophetess of a church in alliance with their father to get them confess to an alleged “witchcraft powers”. Which they have been using to ‘bewitch’ their father, causing him misfortune and preventing him from progressing, etc. Shocking as this might seem, many people actually believe the charge of witchcraft levied against the children. However, the public outcry against this practice was so great that the Prophetess and the children’s father were tried and sentenced to various prison terms.
But what kind of society causes such permanent disability to its children for, of all things, possessing ‘witchcraft powers’? What is the social basis for belief in witchcraft?
Well said Theo!
It seems that we do not appreciate our American freedom enough. Arranged marriage in America by law I do believe is not allowed in this country yet, however, I am no authority of how the Muslims in this country do things. Who knows, we may have it right here. The gypsies parade their children dressed as adult women in gymnasiums in this country for all their men to choose for a wife. I watched a video on TV one evening several years ago and the women seemed to be proud of it. The children were taught to accept it.
As for the child bride, she probably had no recourse and did the only thing she could do at the time. Some punishment should be given after all there were lives taken, but in all likelihood they all abused her. she needs our prayers not condemnation.
J.T.: “The question is how the law should treat a young girl in such a circumstance.”
If this is not in the United States, it’s none of our business. It’s their ‘religion’. As I have said before, we, as a Nation, due to our actions over the GITMO and Abu Gharib have lost all claim to any sort of moral superiority. That’s obviously the way her people do things, it’s part of their history, and weshould have no say one way or the other.
It’s lively today in the comments section. I don’t think anyone deserves to die. Men who break the law regarding marriage should be prosecuted. I can’t know how she came to this decision and if she thought it was the only way out of her dilemma and what that dilemma was other than what we are presuming in such cases. Hopefully, more details will come out. She did murder, and the murder of the three friends is even more problematic. Did they rape her? Yes, she deserves mitigation of her case and yes, the law regarding no marriage of girls under 18 should be strongly enforced as well as the duties of the parents strongly defined so as to prevent them marrying their offspring off to anyone before 18 and only due to her own choice after that age. Will there be rage on the part of the patriarchal structure against the girl? Will she lose her life? (Will vigilantes bury her alive? It’s been known to happen.) As a child, her decision making abilities should be considered below those of an adult. In a harsh patriarchal (a given) society, punishment short of death for females is problematic as well, as she will be exposed to great harm and further trauma if incarcerated. A commenter wrote that this is a Nigerian case. I admit to a overwhelming bias against and revulsion toward any punitive patriarchal customs in Africa or any other nation regarding female castration, child marriage, and the lack of rights of females generally. Will it end as humanely as possible? Let’s hope so.
Until families value and cherish girl children, they will not have protection against pedophiles and forced marriages.
Dave – blame the Christians for what happens in Muslim nations?
Modern day Christians do not force children into marriage to pedophiles, unless they are in some sort of cult.
And Exodus was thousands of years ago, when bride prices and child brides were common, as was open pedophelia.
I think she has to serve some time. I don’t believe in capital punishment. Shooting from the hip, 15 years.
Are you sure that wasn’t pepper? OOPS
Arranged marriage does not justify murder. This girl should be executed as a matter of social justice.
Mess with the bull and get the horns. Deprive people of their freedom at your peril.
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