KGA #1 ESSAY
NOT GUILTY BY REASON OF SLICK DEFENSE
Not Guilty by Reason of Slick Defense
How do people like O.J. Simpson get away with murder? Ever since mankind roamed the Earth, murder has been a part of life. Once we became civilized it was considered a serious crime. With the adoption of the court system, we have developed legal defenses that justify taking another person’s life. Defense attorneys have come up with very convincing arguments that let sadistic killers get away with murder. It takes a unanimous decision of twelve jurors to result in a conviction, and only one to “rock the boat.” As described in these six different murder cases, all it takes to persuade one person to vote not-guilty is a clever defense. Homicidal Somnambulism In the Steven Stienberg case, (Scottsdale, Arizona, 1981) Steven was accused of murdering his wife with a kitchen knife. Mrs. Stienberg was stabbed 26 times. Mr. Stienberg told police that intruders had killed her during a burglary gone awry. In 1982, in the Maricopa County Superior Court, Steven testified that he acknowledged the murder, but that he did it while sleepwalking, couldn’t remember the crime, and therefore, was not guilty. His story changed dramatically from what he originally told police, which raised doubt on the prosecutor’s side. A California psychiatrist, Dr. Martin Blinder stated that the murder was committed under “dissociative reaction”. The plea was changed to not guilty due to temporary insanity. The jury believed Steinberg was sleepwalking, and therefore was not responsible for bludgeoning his wife Elana. He was exonerated of his murder charge (Sleepwalking: Definition from Answers.com, 2009). This defense is very convenient and convincing. Since the first recorded case in 1846, 68 more cases resulted in acquittal using sleepwalking as a defense. Things are now different under Arizona law. Since 1994, ...