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S ECTION 23: D ISABILITY D EFENSE N OVEMBER 30, 2006 P RIMARY C ASE IN S ECTION : P ATTY H EARST Notes: - Excuse defenses general defenses o Potentially available as defenses against all crimes o Available even when all elements of the offense have been established beyond reasonable doubt o Address all elements of offense first, then use defense - Justification defenses excuse action/tolerate action o Net benefit to society - Excuse defense takes actor’s condition into consideration Rationale for excuse defenses General deterrence - shows public that CJS doesn’t care if you’re insane/under duress; still liable for actions - Deter general public from crime Special deterrence - punishing someone who’s mentally unstable - Little chance of special deterrence - Excuse defense used here Stigmatization - Do we want to stigmatize criminally mentally ill/immature people? - Value an excuse defense Incapacitation - Woudn’t value excuse defense - Want to take dangerous people off the streets Just desert - Value excuse defense - Don’t want to put people who aren’t blameworthy in jail Rehabilitation - Want mentally ill people rehabilitated - Slide 8 - Disability: abnormal condition of actor at time of offense o Insanity o Intoxication o Subnormal intelligence o Immaturity o Automatism o Hypnotism 1
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o Duress o Must have outward manifestation o May be temporary, long-term, or permanent o Its cause can be internal or external o The disability…. - Excusing Condition: the effect of the disability/mistake is to render the actor blameless for offense o Involuntary act On Angel. (slide 12 – 14) o Ignorance of the nature of the act o Ignorance of… - Excuse of subnormality low intelligence is the disability o Treated as a form of “mental defect” under the insanity defense - Involuntary intoxication cognitive or control dysfunction - Voluntary intoxication will not provide an excuse defense - Not enough that the actor suffers the disability required for the defense o Disability must cause sufficient dysfunction that the actor could not reasonably have been expected to have avoided the violation - Actor sufficiently confused in his thinking unsure about the nature or legality of his conduct o Not excused if with reasonable effort he could have avoided the violation - Requirements of disability excuses: o Recognized disability o Causing a recognized excusing condition - Immaturity excuse - Duress: o Actor must have committed the offense while under coercion to do so Doesn’t require degree of control no substantial lack of capacity o Threat of force that a person of reasonable firmness in the actor’s situation would have been unable to resist o Coercion is a product of actor’s immediate external condition o Unless it’s an obvious and continuing cause Key Facts: - Patty Hearst has a quiet home life with her then fiancée Steven Weed - On February 2, 1972, 2 people knock on the door to their apartment, saying that they were told the apartment is for rent and asking whether they could come
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