Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Somnambulism Defense

The Case of the Sleepwalking Killer | Past Imperfect

Rufus Choate, for the Defense.
During the last hour of his six-hour speech, Choate focused on the issue of somnambulism, stressing that 12 witnesses had testified to his client’s strange condition without challenge or disproof. “Somnambulism explains… the killing without a motive,” he argued. “Premeditated murder does not.” Here he approached the jury and lowered his voice. The courtroom hushed. “In old Rome,” he concluded, “it was always practice to bestow a civic wreath on him who saved a citizen’s life; a wreath to which all the laurels of Caesar were but weeds. Do your duty today, and you may earn that wreath.” 
The jury deliberated for two hours and returned a verdict of not guilty.
 The Browser

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