The court system is a complicated and when it comes to having your case heard there are several different ways to validate the choices that may have lead to committing a crime. When it comes to criminal defenses, there’s a gamut of options that can be used to explain one’s case. From self-defense to insanity plea, juries and judges have heard them all, but that doesn’t stop defense attorneys from coming up with whatever defense it takes to protect their client.
Here are four of the craziest criminal defenses that actually worked in a court of law:
1. The Identical Twin Defense – In 2003, R. Sathis Raj and his identical twin Sabarish Raj were able to escape criminal charges in a drug trafficking case. Law enforcement knew that one of the brothers was guilty, and neither twin was willing to admit to the charges. The judge on the case claimed that he couldn’t make a decision that could possibly lead to charging an innocent man. This case took place in Malaysia where the penalty of this particular crime was the death penalty.
2. The Irresistible Impulse Defense – In June of 1993, Lorena Bobbitt famously severed her husband’s penis in his sleep. She claimed that her husband had raped her that evening and had a history of abuse. She cut off his member and went for a drive, throwing the severed limb out the car’s window before calling 911. Her defense was that she was in shock from the rape and entered a psychological state of temporary insanity and had no idea what she was doing when she committed the act. The jury bought it and found her not guilty.
3. The Sleepwalking Defense – In 1981, Steven Steinberg allegedly stabbed his wife 26 times with a kitchen knife. He admitted to killing his wife in court, but said that it happened while he was sleepwalking. Due to his sleepwalking he was able to use the temporary insanity plea and was found not guilty, since he was sane during the time of the trial, he ended up a completely free man.
4. The Twinkie Defense – In 1978, Dan White murdered two men. While facing the death penalty, White’s attorney argued that he had been battling depression and had only consumed Twinkies in the days leading to the murders, therefore arguing that his mind had been slowed due to the junk food. The jury acquitted him and he was only sentenced to 8 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter.
If you or someone you know is being accused of a crime that they are not guilty of or they have an unusual reason for their actions it’s best to seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. This way you can ensure that your side of the story is heard. Russell Spatz has four decades of experience in all aspects of criminal law in South Florida. Consider giving him a call today at (305) 442-0200 to discuss your case and the best plan of action for your particular situation.