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Defense Excuses

Every now and then in the news we here about these outrageous excuses people use in their own defense at a highly publicized trials and some of them get away with it.  So it time to start posting excuses in the defense category.  Defense excuses could even be excuse people give in their defense of and given set of circumstances.  It doesn't have to be just trial related excuses.  Well if you have any excuses to add to this category, just visit the Submit Excuses page and send them in!

  • 1. URBAN SURVIVAL SYNDROME - A fear that inner-city residents have of other people in their same area.  Used in a case where a black 18-year-old shot two blacks in a Fort Worth parking lot in 1993.

  • 2. THE TWINKIE DEFENSE - High sugar levels caused by too much junk food consumption compounded by manic depression.  Defense used by Dan White to explain why he killed city mayor George Moscone and gay board member Harvey Milk. 

  • 3. BLACK RAGE - A type of insanity caused by prolonged racial prejudice in the United States.  Used to defend Colin Ferguson, who is black, for killing four whites and two Asian-Americans on a Long Island Railroad train.

  • 4.  ANAL RETENTIVENESS - When highly ambitious, hypercritical people cannot relax and don't trust others to do work assigned to them.  Considered to be a defense for professionals that fail to file their income taxes on time.

  • 5.  My defense excuse for attempted murder with an automobile was that I didn't have the stopping distance when I saw the pedestrian in question crossing the street and I didn't like the guy so had trouble resisting the urge not to give a damn about running him over in my land rover. 

  • 6.  Defense excuse for necrophilia:  Sorry your Honor but I thought it was an extra small bed with a lid, she didn't tell me to stop and any way the padding reminded me of my cell.

  • 7. When Mitcheal Trumble, Joshua Centrone, Cassie Hudson and William J. Reeves were arrested in connection with the arson of the Gobind Sadan Sikh Temple in Palermo, New York, they said that they thought it was a Muslim mosque and that it was called "Go Bin Laden" ["4th Teen Charged in Temple Case" by Chris Iven, Syracuse Post Standard, 22 February 2002; "Metro Briefing New York: Palermo: Damaged Temple Is Razed", New York Times, Section B, Page 8, Column 5, 22 February 2002]. 

  • 8. We've made our mistakes, we realize that, and we wouldn't do it again.  It was just, you know, a little -- a little, you know, brain fart thing that happened."  (Peter Magnotti, explaining his 3-week violent crime spree with three other teenagers in April of 1996 in Florida.  The crime spree included the torching of caged birds in a restaurant, arson of a factory, armed robbery of a restaurant where one of the teenagers worked, and the murder of high school teacher Mark Schwebes.  In order to avoid the death penalty, Magnotti plea bargained for a 32 year sentence.  Two of his teenage accomplices agreed to sentences of life without parole, and the fourth, Kevin Foster, was sentenced to death.)  ["Lords of Chaos: Teenage Violence in Our Society," Dateline NBC, 9 August 1999.].

  • 9. A woman murders her husband and then continues on a killing spree for about a week.  When finally caught and charged, she was given an attorney. Her excuse was, "I was under the influence of PMS and CMS (current menstrual syndrome)."

  • 10. My husband gave the best excuse I've ever heard: When asked if he could be impartial by the defense on a child abuse case, he said simply: "Where there's smoke, there's fire"

  • 11. The money I embezzled from my aunt's trust account was used to maintain the affluent lifestyle for my wife and family that I could not sustain after my retirement from my law firm. I knew I had done a terrible thing, but could not stop because I feared that a scaled-back lifestyle would jeopardize my marriage (he was disbarred from the practice of law) [Matter of Allan L. Blumstein, 801 N.Y.S.2d 299, 2005 NY Slip Op 6886, 2005 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 9468 (1st Dept. 2005).].

  • 12. I knew that using courthouse computers to view pornography was inappropriate on several levels but the pressures of my judicial position and my volunteer commitments at my church led me to continue the activity (the judge was removed from the bench by the Kansas Supreme Court) [Matter of George R. Robertson, 120 P.3d 790 (Kans. 2005).].

  • 13. My guilty plea was invalid because it was made under post-traumatic stress from my pre-trial incarceration at Riker's Island, where they failed to provide me adequate drugs and hormones prescribed as part of my gender transformation, and they classified me as a male while in custody [People v. Mariah Lopez, 2006 NY Slip Op 50656U, 2006 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 853, N.Y.L.J., 22 May 2006, p. 22, col. 1 (N.Y.C. Crim. Ct., N.Y. Co. 2006).].

  • 14. When my ex-husband cheated on me he tried to convince me and himself that it was MY fault. I told him that I didn't tie him up and drive him to her house. How stupid.


That's all for know folks!

If you have any defense excuses to share here, please go to the Submit Excuses page and send them in.

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Last modified:  06/18/11