Defenses to Persuade the Jury

Length: 2 Pages 554 Words

There have been many defenses used to try to persuade the jury to a verdict of not guilty. They include: gay panic defense, urban psychosis, battered woman, sleepwalking, and postpartum. The validity of these defenses is not always very great and the application is not always very wise. The gay panic defense was used in the trial of Matthew Sheppard. One of his alleged murderers said that after Matthew Sheppard sexually advanced him, it brought out of him repressed memories of homosexual sexual abuse in his childhood, which drove him to kill Matthew Sheppard. As a defense this is not a legitimate one because the intention of killing was still present. Whether it be incited by bad memories or whether it is out of pure anger, then intention of murder was still there. Applied to the Sheppard case, there is no question t Continue...


The intention and the planning were both there no matter what defense was used. Thus, when the mother is drowning the baby, even though it is caused by chemical imbalance and depression, is still murder because intent and act are present. The murderer was the party that accosted Sheppard, and after they knocked him unconscious, they drove him a long ways away, tied him to a post and then beat him to death. Sleepwalking is another legitimate defense. The use of battered woman defense is a very reasonable one. The fact is that battered woman is based on the idea that these women killed their husbands because they themselves have been victims of domestic abuse or physical violence. However, it does depend on the situation as well, if a woman is being abused and she kills her husband, there is no intent of murder. The idea that a person can be excluded from a crime because of his upbringing is ridiculous. However, if a woman has been previously abused and she hires a contract killer to kill her husband, that is murder in the first degree. Mens Rea dictates that act and intent are both necessary in order for a crime to take place. A supposed defendant and victim of urban psychosis still has both act and intent. The period of sleepwalking, the person is completely insane because he or she does not know what they are doing and cannot control themselves. Because the husbands have previous records of injuring these women, and then women are in constant fear of the threat of their husbands, it qualifies as self defense that these women kill their husbands.