The psychology of prison marriages

Stuff reports:

Notorious murderer is set to marry his disgraced lawyer in prison on Tuesday.

Reid is serving a life sentence for the 2007 rape and murder of deaf Christchurch woman Emma Agnew and the rape and attempted murder of a Dunedin student a few days later.

Murray smuggled an iPhone, cigarettes and a lighter to Reid in Mt Eden prison in 2011, while acting as his lawyer.

She has previously said she and Reid fell in love when he was her client, leading to her smuggling a phone and tobacco to him in prison. 

She defended herself in the Auckland District Court where she was rebuked by Judge Russell Collins for her bizarre defence tactics including repeatedly talking over the judge and witnesses, emailing demands to the registrar, and laughing and grinning at the media.

In 2015 she was struck off as a lawyer after a disciplinary committee heard of her “concerning and worrying” history of unsatisfactory conduct. 

Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal chairwoman Judge Dale Clarkson said Murray’s behaviour was of “such a serious level” that no response short of being struck off would be a proper one. 

It is bizarre and some what sickening to see someone throw away their career for such a repugnant criminal.

You wonder why anyone would want to marry a convicted murderer and rapist, let alone one that may well never be freed.

But there has been quite a few studies done into this phenomenon as it is more common than many realise.

It seems the major factors are:

  • A prisoner can’t cheat on you (well not with other women)
  • A prisoner becomes so reliant on you, it makes you feel special
  • You think you can redeem them
  • The prisoner convinces you that you are the only thing that keeps them going
  • A prisoner is less likely to be judgmental of you
  • As contact is limited, you feel the time with the prisoner is more special

Doesn’t make it any less sad though.

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