"Abuse Excuse"

Kim & Rima McKinzey rkm at SLIP.NET
Mon Aug 9 07:12:55 UTC 1999

At 10:30 PM -0400 8/7/99, Michael K. Gottlieb wrote:
>On Sat, 7 Aug 1999, James E. Clapp wrote:
>> "Twinkie Defense" (though I recently read or heard something about a
>> lawyer in the Twinkie case claiming there was no such defense and it's all
>> an urban legend--or at any rate a distortion or confusion about the nature
>> of the defense raised in that famous anti-Gay hate crime).
>My understanding, based on what I've heard from those involved in the
>case, is that Dan White's sugar intake leading up to the double murder
>(his consumption of Twinkies) was mentioned as an off-hand remark by one
>of the testifying doctors and the later exaggerations were a result of
>the public shock at the success of White's diminished capacity defense.
>The defense, however, was not at all based or dependent on White's Twinkie

Thought I'd ask my husband, a forensic psychologist, to perhaps clarify the
subject a bit.  Rima

Martin Blinder, MD, was the psychiatrist who tried to explain how
hypoglycemia could lead to a diminished capacity.  It was part of his
report, & can be read in his book. The jury understood the notion, &
rendered a verdict accordingly.

DC is still an important part of legal decision making, it just isn't
codified as such. In most cases, DC is really a mitigating factor, to be
considered in sentencing rather than in verdict making. However, when level
of intent is important, the ability of the def to FORM that intent becomes
part of the verdict.


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