The Insanity Defense By Steven Steinberg

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While reading chapter 2 of The Insanity Defense we discussed many different versions of the insanity defense and whether or not they’re valid or not. This interested me so much that I decided to actually go online and research the most ‘insane’ ways to use the insanity defense. Within this research I found various cases where it was used and was so shocked at how bizarre almost all of them are that I decided to write a 3-page paper on it, enjoy. The first case I read about brings us all the way back to 1981. In Arizona, Steven Steinberg awakens from a sleep to find his wife stabbed to death 26 times. Steven quickly fumbles over her body to the phone and calls police immediately. He tells them his wife has been murdered in a burglary gone wrong. Upon investigation though, police discover that this was no burglary, that in fact Steven was the one who has killed his wife. Steven in a state of confusion recounts that night because he has no memory of murdering his wife, he explains to police he had no reason to, he loved her. This case then went to trial and Steinberg told judges that he was sleepwalking at the time of the murder, and therefore not ‘sane’ during it. The jury found Steven Steinberg not guilty and he was free to go. So is sleepwalking a valid insanity defense? In my opinion yes, I believe while sleepwalking you’re in a dissociative mental state that you can’t control. When sleeping your daytime reality becomes a distorted dream, in Stevens case his wife was
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