[Note: If you’re new here, possibly from a thing I did a couple days ago, rest assured that this is one of those boring lawyer posts where I talk down to people in a condescending manner about a topic. You should recognize it. In fact, I know you do because I’ve reviewed a lot of your firm “blogs” and am well aware each and every one of you think talking to people like they’ve suffered some form of traumatic brain injury is the way you need to speak to potential clients. It’s cool. I get it. You’re an asshole. Anyhow, this one’s more for the laymen, layladies, and lay-people-of-no-or-any-gender, so sit back and enjoy a really long diatribe.]
Welcome to Lawyers & Liquor, a site that’s updated about as often as my invoices are being paid these days. I’m your host, the Boozy Barrister, and this month we’re going to open with something a little different from our typical Free Speech Friday to take a brief foray into the world of constitutional rights and legitimate exercises of the state’s police powers in a time of turmoil. You know, like a worldwide pandemic and a nation that has essentially stuck up a sign that says “Be Back Soon” on the sliding plexiglass door that is our borders. But before we get into all of that fun stuff, please allow me to take a moment and direct you to the list of the Lawyers & Liquor Patreon supporters who provide financial backing for all of the idiotic stuff we do here.
We all on the same page here? Good, now gather around because I want to be exceedingly clear in this time of turmoil:
You do not have a constitutional right to be a complete jackass and infect those around you, and the government absolutely has the precedential ability to restrict you from doing so. And today, Typhoid Dipshit, I’m going to go into why.
Continue reading “Fundamental Friday: You Don’t Have A Constitutional Right To Infect.”
Welcome back to Lawyers & Liquor where we’re going to keep the crazy train slamming down the tracks today as we lean into part 4 of our examination of the insanity defense in the courts!
If you missed the first three posts discussing the evolution of the insanity defense through the ages, the M’Naghten rule, the Durham rule, and what the hell an irresistible impulse is, you can find those here, here, and here respectively. You don’t really need to read them to understand today’s discussion of the fourth insanity as a defense standard, the “substantial capacity” test, but I’d really suggest it because – as you’ll see in a few – they all sort of tie together in how we got here.
So with that said, let’s get what is essentially a criminal law review out of the way so in a year some law student can be like “Wow, this was really unhelpful and confusing! Thanks Boozy!”
But first, let’s get the form disclaimers out of the way.
Continue reading “The Model Penal Code and Trent’s Teabagging: Insanity as a Defense, Part 4.”
Welcome back to Lawyers & Liquor for another Freaky Friday, where we toss open the crypt doors and invite you, dear reader, to descend into the dungeon of the legally macabre. I’m your ghost host with the barely sufficient most, the BOO-zy Barrister, and in a special two-time Freaky Friday month of April we’re going to continue the theme we talked about last week in discussing a case of high seas passenger murder and expand it out to ask what happens when, instead of drowning passengers, the crew simply decides to dine on a delectable all you can eat buffet of seaman.
Stop giggling, because we have a lot of ground to cover as we explore the English eatery that is the case of Regina v. Dudley and Stephens this time on Lawyers & Liquor: Freaky Friday! But first, a general disclaimer.
Continue reading “Freaky Friday (Again): This Clown Tastes Funny – The Cannibalistic Case of R. vs. Dudley & Stephens, Part 1.”
Welcome back to Lawyers & Liquor and oh my god has this series become somewhat in bad taste since I started writing it last week. Over the recent weekend there were two mass shootings in the United States, killing in excess of thirty people and wounding many others, and the national conversation has gone to the most reasonable place ever since then: mental health care. Because, of course, no matter what happens it can’t be the availability of firearms that can empty out thirty shots in less time than it takes to read this post, reload, and empty out thirty more. No, the real problem is that all of the people who engage in mass shootings are obviously mentally unsound…which is a no shit statement because generally mentally sound people don’t consider “shooting a bunch of people in a retail store is the perfect way to express myself” to be a reasonable conclusion to reach.
However, as we talked about last time, merely being mentally unsound isn’t enough to properly defend the actions of an accused party in court. And nothing we’re going to talk about today is going to change that shit, because while M’Naghten, in some form, is still the majority rule throughout the United States, even under the tests used by the minority of states to make a determination of whether insanity relieves a party of criminal liability the standard still wouldn’t be met simply be means of mental defect. That’s right, today we’re going to examine the three other tests used to determine whether or not a defendant’s insistence that they shouldn’t be punished because of their mental state is,unlike their alleged mentality, sound.
But first, a disclaimer.
Continue reading “Durham and the Little Man of Reason: Insanity as a Defense, Part 2”
Hey, welcome back to Lawyers & Liquor as we start the week off with a banging of a gavel and the popping of a cold, delicious morning beer (what, that’s not a thing?) with an examination of law, law practice, and the various other sundries of legal minutia and misfeasance that has a bad habit of creeping into the day.
I’m the Boozy Barrister, and today we’re going to talk about a light subject, just a little bit of levity before you charge headlong into the hellish week that is the beginning of August. That’s right, today we’re going to talk about – and break down in terms that laymen, baby lawyers, the legal fetal collection of cells that is a law student, and even the old hands that may never have cracked a criminal guide since the bar – the many vagaries surrounding the defense of “insanity” in the American justice system…and how it differs from other mentally-based determinations you may run into in a criminal court matter.
But first, a word from our “Please Don’t Do This” Department.
Continue reading “M’Nope-in: Insanity as a Defense, Part 1.”