While most people who have been charged with crimes in Washington opt for a traditional defense strategy, like asking for first-time leniency, getting charges dismissed, or plea bargaining charges down to a lower offense, others have used some wild ones to try to convince jurors to find them innocent.
A man in Arizona claims he was sleepwalking when he killed his wife with a shovel in their backyard before pushing her into their swimming pool and holding her head underwater. In this case, the jury did not buy the criminal defense and sentenced the man to life in prison.
Junk food defense
A man in San Francisco gunned down the city’s mayor and a supervisor. The police charged the man with murder. A prominent psychologist claimed the jury should not find the accused murderer, who said his head did not feel right during the murders, guilty because he had binge ate Twinkies about a week before the murders. The sugar overload caused him to snap. The jury did not find the man guilty of premeditated murder but found him guilty of manslaughter. He served five years for the murders before being released and committing suicide.
Prostitution caused by Prozac
A woman claimed that taking Prozac gave her an unquenchable thirst for sex. The police charged the wife with running a brothel while they charged her husband with being her pimp. A lawyer argued that a mental health professional had given the woman Prozac because she was depressed, sending her sex hormones into overdrive. Lawyers struck a plea bargain until a tape of the woman with a well-known city official emerged and that the couple was trying to sell it for $100,000. Yet, the couple eventually and the husband eventually served an 18-month sentence.
While many criminal defense strategies are normal, some are very unusual.