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List Eight: 10 Wackiest Criminal Defenses

Updated on July 24, 2009

HELP! I am in trouble!

Anyone who has been in trouble with the law knows that the best way to avoid consequences is to have a good lawyer.  But even the best lawyer can bomb if you don't have a solid defense.  So, this list is devoted to some of the most wackiest criminal defenses ever presented in a court of law.

They said what???

1. The Gay Panic Defense -- Yes, you read that right! This is a legal defense in which a person claims temporary insanity as a result of a psychiatric condition known as homosexual panic. This defense is reserved for charges of assult and murder. Just this year, Joseph Biedermann successfully asserted this defense after murdering Terrence Hauser. He was acquitted of all charges. Who knew being homophobic gives you a legal defense to kill someone?!?!

2. The Twinkie Defense -- Okay, so this is not a real legal defense but a catch all for a defense known as diminished capacity. During the 1979 murder trial of Dan White, his defense attorney claimed that he was depressed and got hyped-up on junk food which caused him to go crazy and murder two people.

3. The PMS Defense -- A woman was stopped and arrested for drunk driving. At her trial her attorney claimed that she was suffering from PMS at the time of the incident which caused her to absorb alcohol more quickly (apparently this happens to women on their menstrual cycle) and caused her to be more irritable and violent. She was fully acquitted.

4. The Roid Rage Defense -- A man who was charged with throwing rocks off an overpass in Pennsylvania attempted to use this defense claiming that he was prone to violent acts as a result of the steroids he was taking. Here's a hint: STOP TAKING THEM MORON!!

5. The Sleepwalking Defense -- There have been numerous cases in which people who have committed heinous, violent crimes such as murder tried to argue that it was committed during an episode of sleepwalking. This defense dates back to as early as the 1800's.

6. The Amnesia Defense -- Too many times criminals have attempted to plead temporary amnesia claiming that they have no memory of committing the crime in question. I am in no way minimizing this real disease, but it seems overly convenient that a criminal happens to get amnesia after killing someone--or whatever the crime may be.

7. The Full Moon Defense -- Every one knows that strange things happen when there is a full moon. Apparently, committing a crime during a full moon falls under these "strange things".

8. The Flesh and Blood Defense -- This is a rather old, unique defense in which defendents believe that all officers of the court, including defense attorneys, are all on the side of the government and therefore have no right to bring people to trial. It is also believed that a legal distinction can and should be made between their name listed on their indictment and their true identity as a flesh and blood man.

9.  The Involuntary Intoxication Defense --  This is a very difficult defense to use because you have to show that you didn't have knowledge or participation in the intoxication.  An example of this defense was in June 2003 when a woman was charged with killing her mother. The defense argued that a clash of prescription medications caused an involuntary intoxication which led to violent tendencies.

10.   The Battered Wife Defense -- Now, this may not seem wacky but what is wacky is how many times this defense has been successfully used!  The question with this is: does spousal abuse justify murder??  Some may say yes while others say the answer is to simply leave the situation and file a restraining order.

And the verdict is...

The law is a funny thing.  The things people try to get away with are shocking and when they get caught, they will do and say anything to avoid the consequences of their actions.  Alas, a good criminal defense attorney is priceless...

Funny Legal Pictures

I swear I didn't do it!
I swear I didn't do it!
Freeze!  Put your paws in the air!
Freeze! Put your paws in the air!
Sniper in training.
Sniper in training.

Stay tuned...

So, I know I originally promised ten lists in ten days and it has been 2 days since my last list and I apologize for that. Kids can be unpredictable and they hav demanded a lot of my attention this week. Anyway, there are still 2 more lists to come so please check back.

Tomorrows list: 10 Most Horrifying Headlines


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    • romancedating profile image

      Joko Aza 

      5 years ago from Indonesia

      Scammers are on dating sites, and social networks setting up fake profiles. Scammers will pose under the disguise of beautiful pictures as either male or female claiming to be from the United States. The scammer weaves a story of a successful business person working over seas, having no family; they present themselves as a thoughtful, caring and loving individual who is looking for their soul mate. The scammers are good at what they do; they ask lots of questions of the victim regarding what they want in their lives.

      The scammer then takes the information and turns it into a dream that becomes a reality to the victim. They use words we all like to hear to woo our hearts so they can burn our souls. They use psychology to hold you in their spell. Once they have established a relationship then the scamming begins. In all cases the plea for Financial assistance is the key to the scam

    • bisnar6665 profile image


      5 years ago from Irvine, California

      I especially like the steroid defense. Nothing sets my anger off like steroids. I wish there was a solution...

    • writinglover profile image


      6 years ago from Lost...In Video Games

      I read about the twinkie defense for the first time on Yahoo! Boy, did I laugh! This is the second time I read about it and it's still funny!Whacky indeed. Good Hub.

    • EQTactics profile image

      Etienne Luu 

      7 years ago from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

      Those are some of the most hilarious kitty picutres EVER!

    • JGoul profile image


      7 years ago

      The Twinkie defense is often presented unfairly. The term comes from the trial of Dan White, the man who murdered Harvey Milk. Dan White's lawyers did not really argue that he was not responsible for his actions because of the consumption of junk food. Instead, they pointed to a number of sudden changes in his personality. He was once a sharp dresser, but began to appear quite sloppy, and was a health food nut, but began downing large amounts of twinkies, and a few other changes. His lawyers pointed to these changes as evidence that White was unstable, depressed, and so not as culpable for his actions. The twinkie defense urban legend comes from the fact that one of his lawyers made a passing reference to the fact that sugar can cause alterations in mood and behavior, but this was never the focus of the defense.

    • profile image

      Investigation Services  

      7 years ago

      I just laughed and laughed even though I hadn't finish reading the whole article. These criminal defenses will sure bring criminal behind bars with a 100% chance.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      For the battered woman defense, the whole reason it is a defense is that battered women CAN'T "simply" leave, they are so emotionally controlled that they believe that the abuser will always find and hurt them if they try to leave.

    • kschang profile image


      8 years ago from San Francisco, CA, USA

      Just to nickpick, technically Dan White's attorneys actually claimed the other way around... Dan White is depressed, and that caused him to overdo the Twinkies, not the other way around. The media turned that statement backwards into the "Twinkie Defense".

    • NYMiskovic profile imageAUTHOR

      Kara Leigh Miller 

      9 years ago from Oswego, NY

      Yes, it is peculiar. I think that is why I like it so just never know.

    • yamanote profile image


      9 years ago from UK/Spain

      this is a really interesting hub - criminal law is so peculiar in many ways.


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