Good enough excuse??


Trying to be good.
Jun 21, 2003
At critical limit
Have you guys heard of situations where people commit murder during their sleep? I remember watching a news special a while back about a man who sleep walks. One night he murdered his -in-laws during one of his sleepwalking episode, but when he woke up the next morning he did not remember a single thing that he did. His lawyers' defense was that he had no control over his act so he shouldn't receive maximum punishment. But prosecutors claimed that subconcious acts are results of concious meditations or thoughts.

Do you think that his lawyers have a good defense? At the time I watched the special, I thought the lawyers were just looking for a bunch of BS. But now that I understand more about psychopathology I'm believing that it is possible for him to have no recallection of the event. Now I don't know which side to support, because on one hand he did physically commit the crime, but on the other he had no control over it.
Even if he did not intentionally kill them he is a menace to society. He would have to go to either jail or a psyco ward because there is nothig else preventing him from killing again.
There was a program on this topic over here a few months ago - where they filmed people who have this type of condition.

It was actually quite scary - apparently peoplemlike this can do just about anything in their sleep- there was one woman who was filmed going odwnstairs and getting food from the fridge then returning to bed, or in another case a man who attacked his girlfriend whilst asleep.

Potentially it is a good defense but very difficult to prove, there are many recorded cases of people who have attacked a partner whilst still asleep, proving that the person was asleep at the time though Guess it will come down to expert testimony and the jury.
I know it's possible to do things in your sleep and have no recollection of it because it's happened to me. Proving it though, well that's different.
I belive the claim would be he was "leagaly insane" a third verdict passed by the jury, having the probable repricutions of being sent to a mental institution.

Becialy it relates to all cases when the suspect is not aware of what he is doing, such as when he is insane. This may or may not extend to "I thought he had a gun" in the case of clinical insanity.

Hypnosys would have similar effects.
If he truly was sleepwalking, it should be considered "man-slaughter."

That is scary though, as it makes you think "what am I capable of while sleeping?"
Originally posted by Sobieski II
If he truly was sleepwalking, it should be considered "man-slaughter."

That is scary though, as it makes you think "what am I capable of while sleeping?"

I saw a show about this while I was travelling with some friends, one of them famous for sleep-walking. Needless to say I didn't sleep well that night.
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