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Sleepwalking Legal Defense - Essay Example

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In the recent studies, there is a revelation that this sleep disorder can result to illegal actions. Defendants have also utilized sleepwalking as a defense in a significant crime range and incidences. Sexual…
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Sleepwalking Legal Defense
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Sleepwalking Legal Defense Insert Insert Sleepwalking is increasingly becoming a major criminal defense. In the recent studies,there is a revelation that this sleep disorder can result to illegal actions. Defendants have also utilized sleepwalking as a defense in a significant crime range and incidences. Sexual molestation, violent assaults, and theft are some of common crimes on this defense (Allen Z. Gammage, 2011). With reference to The National Sleep Foundation, a number of people have been victims of the episodes of sleepwalking.
Disturbing incidences have erupted in recent years alleging to sleepwalking. This phenomenon is just a sleep disorder capable of initiating someone to drive, have sex, and even commit murder and other crimes while in its occurrence. Juries and judges highly recognize this action and situation.
Back in 2010, a Florida based 17-year-old boys was alleged to have sex with a 13-year young girl. In addition, this young man fondled his nephew of 17years and landed himself in a critical crime case. When questioned during the police interview, a young man based his claims on sleepwalking verdict. He also had a suggestion of mental problems (LaFave, 2006).
In Orland, the jury acquitted a 28 year old for molestation accusation to a 12-year-old girl in his friend’s home. In the case testifying, the defense attorney on the criminal side had a reference to several witness in support of sleepwalking claims. The main witness was the girlfriend to the accused who had a claim of having sex with a man when he was in deep sleep. After the sex, the man had no trace of recollection of previous night event hence there was a strong defense claim.
In Pennsylvania 1994, Michael had conviction of murdering his wife. He has claims strongly on sleepwalking episodes. Through his defense lawyers, Michael claimed to have awaked with a gun in his hand and his wife bleeding next to him. He further purported a case of a dream about an intruder for sleepwalking justification. Through the medical support and prosecutor’s evidence, Michael’s conviction did not sway the jury and earned him life imprisonment without an appeal.
In Tennessee Supreme Court, a defendant case of child molestation had support from experts sleepwalking testimony as a defense. This court ruled out Nashville the firefighter should present a clean report supporting his actions of sex abuse under the verdict of sleepwalking. Though not sufficiently trustworthy, sleep parasomnia and related disorders pose some relations to wild sexual behaviour and can be of validity in criminal defense (E. P. Belobaba, 1996).
As weird as it may look, sleepwalking has a proof to be a valid criminal defense in various circumstances. It is likely to have a future base in defense. As a murder defense, sleepwalking could be a crazy situation but has its validity. If an individual does not even remember, the performance of sleepwalking there is minimal expectations for criminal action remembrance. It is, therefore, necessary for judiciary and the supreme court of law to factor some of these allegations for outstanding medically proven evidence before any conviction is valid.
References
Allen Z. Gammage, C. F. (2011). Basic Criminal Law. New York: Gregg Division, McGraw-Hill.
E. P. Belobaba, E. G. (1996). The Supreme Court Law Review. Washington, DC: Butterworths.
LaFave, W. R. (2006). Modern criminal law: cases, comments, and questions. Eagan: Thomson/West. Read More
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