Picture of cup of coffee taken by Ian Britton: http://www.ianbritton.co.uk/
Americans love their caffeine. With Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks scattered all across the US, people can get their fill of caffeine at anytime. Additionally, products such as energy drinks and 5 hour energy are flying off the shelves.
Recently, lawyers have begun to use the caffeine as a legal defense in criminal cases. Lawyers have begun to argue that caffeine has affected the intent of the criminal, their knowledge and their confessions. It is a novel defense and young defense and it will be interesting to see how the situation works out.
The most recent use of this defense is by Woody Sill Smith who is accused of killing his wife by strangulation. The defense plans to argue that the large amount of caffeine ingested by the defendant resulted in an altered state of mind. As a result of this temporary altered state of mind, the defendant should be found not guilty of the crime.
The strategy of this case will be closely examined by both prosecutors and defense attorneys. Seeing that the defense is so new, it will be interesting to see its development over time. In the mean time, it may look as though a person should limit their caffeine consumption.
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