Remember the “Twinkie defense”? Dan White, the murderer of San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, was depressed and his mental illness was made worse by eating a lot of sweets. Hence the “Twinkie Defense.”
White got eight years for involuntary manslaughter instead of life in prison on first-degree murder charges.
Then there’s the “Affluenza Defense,” where a spoiled rich kid killed four people in a DUI and pleaded that his extremely wealthy and spoiled childhood, where the defendant was taught that money bought privilege, made it so he couldn’t recognize the consequences of his actions.
The kid got two years.
I’ve got another one for you. A 26-year-old woman went over to her boyfriend’s house and smoked some pot with him. The woman then supposedly went berserk, stabbing her boyfriend with three different knives a total of 108 times.
She also stabbed herself several times but somehow never managed to hit any vital spot. When police arrived the next morning, the woman tried to stab herself in the neck and was saved by police.
The young woman, Bryn Spejcher, now 32, raised the defense at her manslaughter trial last month that at the time of the attack, she was suffering from Cannabis-Induced Psychotic Disorder.
Not to disparage patients who actually suffer from this disorder, but the psychosis caused by the ingestion of cannabis almost always occurs over a period of years of heavy marijuana use.
But Spejcher’s lawyer was successful in raising the specter of a woman out of control through no fault of her own. She got five years probation.
Spejcher faced up to four years in prison along with sentence enhancements, though the judge ruled that given the facts, he didn’t believe it was warranted.
“He took into account her lack of criminal record, her professional standing in the community and that she did in fact suffer from severe psychosis at the time killing and really did not know what she was doing,” KTLA Legal Analyst Alison Triessl said of the judge’s sentence.
The judge cited evidence and expert testimony, also saying the 32-year-old did not know marijuana would have this type of effect on her when she smoked with the 26-year-old victim that night.
The only ones who know whether or not Spejcher knew “what she was doing” are God and the murderer. I don’t see how anyone could have possibly determined her state of mind. Why isn’t she in a psychiatric hospital now after murdering someone if she had a psychotic break at the time of the murder?
The probation doesn’t track with the rest of this case. If she’s psychotic, commit her. If she’s not, send her to jail. The young man’s family is outraged, as well they should be.