Criminal Law

5 Strangest Criminal Defenses Used in Court

Drafting a solid and plausible criminal defense is a crucial aspect in a criminal defense proceeding. If you are accused of a crime, you and your lawyer must come up with a reasonable defense to make sure you will not be convicted.

Basically, a criminal defense is a type of argument that will be used to oppose or defy the validity of the prosecutor’s evidence. Some of the most popular types of defenses include the following:

  • Affirmative Criminal Defense

    – Essentially, this type of defense works by substantiating the prosecution’s evidence rather than offering a weak argument.

  • Insanity Defense

    – Unless you have medical evidence to prove your insanity, this defense will not always work.

  • Coercion and duress

    – To make this defense work for you, you should establish that you have not participated in any reckless behavior that led to the crime.

Although these are serious criminal defenses, there are other wacky criminal defense cases that are seriously ridiculous.

Gay Panic Defense

Would you even consider bludgeoning someone merely because he or she is gay or lesbian? While majority of sensible people would say ‘No’ to this rhetorical question, several murder cases use this defense to justify a person’s violent behavior toward a homosexual. So does this mean homophobia is an effective alibi? Or being homophobic as a valid legal defense?

In theory, a defendant who finds himself or herself the object of affection by a gay or lesbian admirer uses the gay panic defense. Frightened and threatened by sexual advances, the defendant may resort to violence and justify it by saying “It was merely gay panic!”

Roid Rage Defense

Did you know that world-famous Olympian sprint runner, Oscar Pistorius, use the “roid rage” defense in the murder of his 29 – year – old girlfriend? Roid rage refers to the aggressive and violent behavior of a person after taking a large dose of anabolic steroids. Although this defense is not adequate to acquit a person, some individuals may still resort to this argument to make them appear less responsible for the crime.

According to research, the regular intake of anabolic steroids could lead to “heightened levels of violent behaviors.” If this is an inevitable result and the person knows the immediate effects of this drug, would you just let him off the hook? Or maybe the defendant did not have a clue?

Twinkie Defense

The term Twinkie defense emerged during the trial of Dan White in 1979 when he was accused of killing San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and supervisor Harvey Milk. White claimed that prior to the crime, he had been diagnosed with depression, which made him craved for sweet food such as Twinkies.

During the trial, White’s lawyer did not emphatically use the Twinkies as the main cause of his client’s violent behavior. The Twinkies, as the lawyer claimed, indicated that the defendant suffered from depression, which led him to commit the gruesome murder.

Sleepwalking Defense

Criminal intentions during sleep still baffle a lot of people especially the judges. Sleep related violence is another dramatic example of how a defendant would resort to this line of defense especially if it is backed by solid medical evidence.

Bizarre behavior during sleep, according to experts, is not always a direct result of an existing mental illness.

Full Moon Defense

You have probably heard about people going crazy during full moon. There have been several pieces of anecdotal evidence to prove that indeed strange things do happen when the moon is full. Although this defense rarely gets attention in legal jurisprudence, crimes have been committed and the moon gets the blame.