Thursday, May 03, 2007

Not Guilty By Reason Of Brain Scan?

In those rape cases where there is evidence of sexual contact and the "it was consensual" defense isn't going to fly with any potential jury, we now have a new defense strategy. I'll call it the "Abby-normal" defense.

The defense attorneys in this case seem to be hoping that if you tell a big enough story that people will be too shocked to think about what an admittedly dangerous person they would be freeing.

By his very defense, he is a ticking time bomb who cannot control himself. Yet if that is true, his attorneys claim that should set him free.

A Manhattan woman testified in court Monday that New York fashion writer Peter Braunstein drugged her with a chloroform rag and sexually assaulted her for hours, telling her she was "lucky'' to be alive, unlike others he said he had killed. [...]

Braunstein admits to the crime -- his lawyers have adopted a risky defense, claiming paranoid schizophrenia crippled his decision-making process and destroyed his ability to form intent to commit the crime.

The payoff for such a defense is as promising as it is risky. Unlike common insanity defenses, Braunstein would go free, not to a mental hospital, if he's acquitted.


Yet, despite having his decision making ability crippled, he was able to disguise himself as a firefighter, bring weapons with him and wear a mask so she wouldn't be able to ID him in a police line up and then set not 1 but 2 fires outside her apartment so she would open the door for him. And he would have the ability to boast to his victim as way to increase her fear.

He was able to make hundreds of decisions before, during and after this woman was brutally assaulted, but he never "decided" to assault and rape her. That sounds like the rationalizations so many criminals employ to explain why they never meant to hurt anybody while making decision after decision which they knew would hurt people.

If this man doesn't belong in prison he needs be committed immediately and forever since his defense is that he cannot control himself which means that he is a danger which can only be controlled by confinement.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:09 AM   0 comments links to this post


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