Women are property that can be stolen – US court

// 11 January 2008

A Mississippi man has won £750,000 in damages for the “theft” of his wife, in a truly unbelievable verdict, reports The Guardian.

Yes, you read that right.

Sandra Valentine divorced her husband Johnny and re-married a man she’d been having an affair with, Jerry Fitch. Being an unreconstituted pig, ex-husband decided to sue Fitch for “spousal theft” under what the Guardian calls a “quirk” in state law. He won. £750,000.

Fitch – not, understand, Sandra Valentine who we must assume has no legal standing in the case – appealled to the Mississippi supreme court. Who upheld the verdict. And the US’ federal supreme court has just refused to hear the case. Because what would be the point in bothering with that one, hey?

Unsurprisingly, the woman in question is none to pleased with finding out the state considers her more property than person:

Sandra Fitch, too, was not impressed that she had been treated as a piece of property by the courts. “I don’t consider myself property,” she said. “Not Johnny’s, not anyone’s. Just my own.”

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