Female murderers are a rarity. That's probably why society tends to focus so much attention on them and their crimes. Maybe it's even the reason why they're treated so harshly when it comes to sentencing or coverage by the press. Homicide isn't supposed to be in a woman's domain, after all. Killing isn't ladylike.
Nevertheless, if ever there was a killer out there who justifies the existence, and necessity, of the death penalty, it would be the Butcher of Braintree Dr. Amy Bishop.
With a long history dating back to when she was only 21 of murder and attempted murder and other assorted mayhem--for which she was never punished--she's in prison now only for one of those offenses: the 2010 Huntsville Massacre, in which she shot to death three of her fellow biology professors and seriously maimed three more for life.
As with Bishop's prior (covered up) crimes, her bloody campus rampage was a premeditated act too, allegedly committed because she felt she'd been "robbed" of tenure at the Alabama university where she taught neuroscience to undergraduates.
It was an open and shut case against her, of course, but in the state of Alabama she faced being put to death if she was found guilty of mass murder, and her attorneys realized that a bogus insanity defense, not supported by medical experts or any evidence, wasn't going to save her.
This was why, at the eleventh hour, Amy Bishop copped a plea and admitted she was guilty for the slayings of her colleagues. In the process, tacitly agreeing it would be better to sit for the rest of her life in a jail cell without the possibility of parole or appeal, than to sit strapped for only a few short minutes in the electric chair.
Proof the woman doesn't mind taking other peoples' lives, but the thought of losing her own as a consequence was obviously unpleasant.
Her guilty plea legally approved by the trial court, Bishop was then quickly transferred to Tutwiler Prison this past September, and, after spending the first month there separated from the general population, faced having to be fully integrated with fellow inmates by early November.
All in all then, this career criminal spent perhaps 40 or so days of her life sentence at this historic institution for females before deciding the experience was beneath her and reneging on her plea deal.
And it goes without saying, if the defendant had gotten the sentence she truly deserved right from the start, this latest travesty of justice she's engineered could never have happened, and Alabama taxpayers wouldn't be charged with yet another huge bill for her defense expenses.
Below is a copy of Bishop's notice of appeal, filed with the Madison County Circuit Court of Alabama on November 5th, 2012. Although the document doesn't state on what flimsy grounds she plans to rescind her guilty plea, rumor has it she intends to argue that her lawyers were incompetent. Although she agreed not to appeal in exchange for a life sentence, those same attorneys are required by law to sign and file an appeal for her if she demands one. They have fulfilled this obligation to their client, but have removed themselves from representing her any further.