Top 10 HILARIOUS Court Case Defenses
If you're going to commit a crime, you want to make sure you have the best defense for your action. At least, that's what any sound minded criminal would do. In the case of these ten instances, the defense may have been kind of an after-thought. Either that, or they were paired up with some rather creative defense attorneys. Regardless, these 10 defenses are completely off-the-wall and it may shock you to know that some of them actually worked.
The Too Ugly Defense
If you ever happen to find yourself on the wrong end of a sexual harassment suit, here’s a defense that you probably want to avoid using. During the case of Priscilla Agosto versus Fellow Dirt Bag Employees, the 23-year-old secretary of a New York realty firm filed a series of sexual harassment claims against her employer that included requests for “friends with benefits” and having to deal with her coworkers exposing themselves to her. In defense of his people and his firm, Agosto’s boss took the stand and stated “Who would touch her? She’s an ugly girl anyway.” The real kicker after that stunning testimony is that the firm won, possibly due in part of Agosto’s acceptance of a lunch after a prior assault.
The Speeding Polygamist
Most men have probably sped home at some point to avoid catching flak from their spouse, but Mohammed Anwar was in a little bit of a different situation when he faced the threat of a suspended license for doing 64 miles per hour in a 30 miles per hour or roughly 103 kilometers per hour in a 50 kilometers per hour zone. According to Anwar’s testimony, he was speeding so he could get from his one wife, located in Glasgow, to his second wife, located in Motherwell. He argued that the suspension of his license would hinder his ability to stick to the alternating schedule. The Sherriff Anwar was pleading to ruled the reasoning just and allowed him to keep his license.
The Too Fat Defense
If you’re going to use your obesity to justify anything, your inability to commit murder is probably a bit of a stretch. For Floridian Edward Ates, his weight problem seemed to be the perfect – and only – alibi to clear his name in the murder of his former son-in-law, Paul Duncsak. According to Ates defense, he was far too overweight to have committed the crime. The murder was committed atop a perch on the second story of Duncsak’s home and Ates used this to his advantage. According to both Ates and his own doctor, who testified on his behalf, the 285lb man would have been far too winded after running up the stairs to be able to accurately aim a gun. What Ates didn’t seem to take into account was that his internet searches on “How to pick locks” and “how to commit the perfect murder” would easily bite his bloated defense right in his oversized fanny.
The Matrix Defense
The Wachowski brothers must be proud to know that their popular sci-fi action flick, The Matrix, was turned into a viable legal defense in 2002 when Vadim Mieseges pleaded insanity after being sucked into “The Matrix,” which, for some reason, lead to him chopping up his landlady. In 2003, Tonda Lynn Ansley was tried for the murder of her landlord in July of 2002 but was found not guilty by reason of insanity thanks to her claim that she, too, was in “The Matrix.” Who would have thought Keanu Reave’s flat acting would ever inspire strokes of legal genius and the perfect defense.
Automatism of Penfield
The death of 15-year-old Randolph Evans at the hands of New York City police officer Robert Torsney is a tragic one, made worse by the fact that the youth’s killer avoided murder charges. Even worse is that Torsney’s actions were regarded as a case of automatism of Penfield – an epileptic condition that causes one to lose control of their body. In this case, Torsney’s apparent automatism of Penfield was severe enough to cause him to reach for his gun, unholster it, raise it to be point-blank with the boy’s head, and pull the trigger. The defense worked to a degree, as Tornsey was found not guilty and spent only a year at a psychiatric facility.
The PMS Defense
According to some courts around the world, most women have a 5 to 7 day window every month to commit whatever crime they desire. In the United Kingdom, specifically, the Premenstrual Defense is a somewhat popular one, having been used as a legal means to reduce sentencing since the 1980’s. In the case of Anna Reynolds, who murdered her own mother, the use of the PMS defense had her sentence reduced from murder to manslaughter. In the United States, the first successful use of this defense occurred in 1991 when Dr. Geraldine Richter was pulled over for driving erratically and proceeded to assault a state trooper.
The Heart Attack Defense
Keison Wilkins of Dayton, Ohio was on trial for attempted murder and, confident in his own defense skills, was representing himself during the trial. Despite successfully causing a previous mistrial in 2005, there was little that Wilkins could do during the 2008 retrial to get things to go his way. So, seeing no other option, he attempted the ultimate defense – feign a heart attack and pass out. The problem was that Wilkins had exhausted several attempts at causing a mistrial and was so terrible at acting out the medical condition that nobody in the courtroom believed him. Even as he sat slumped and unmoving in his chair, the trial continued. Despite his efforts, Wilkins was found guilty on all charges.
The Ouija Board Defense
If you’re a soldier and plan on abandoning your post, you may want to have a pretty solid defense to fall back on. In the case of six Army Intelligence soldiers in 1991, apparently heading out on a mission to destroy the Antichrist is one such defense. According to Vance Davis, the leader of the six 701st military Intelligence soldiers, an Ouija board had informed the soldiers of their ultimate mission – to hunt down a biblical figure that would spread universal evil. Needless to say, the six did not find the Antichrist and were faced with charges of desertion.
In 1920, psychiatrist Edward J. Kempf performed a series of case studies to prove the existence of a panicked reaction directly associated with the pressure of what was considered at the time as perverted sexual desires. Kempf’s studies coined the condition of Homosexual Panic and in 1987, in the case of Joseph Mitchell Parsons, the condition became a legal defense. In Parsons’ case, he claimed to have killed Richard Lynn Ernest in defense of sexual advances. The defense didn’t work in Parsons’ case, but he was far from the last to invoke the Gay Panic Defense and in some trials, such as the New Zealand case of Ferdinand Ambach in July of 2009, it aided in producing a reduced sentence. Though it has faced several state-wide bans, Homosexual Panic is still a viable legal defense in the eyes of the law.
The Full Moon Defense
When the moon is full, we’re all prone to blaming the world’s craziness on it. During the 19th century, England’s lawyers were also keen on using this natural event as a means of excusing their clients’ less-than-stellar actions. According to the Full Moon Defense, defendants act with lunacy due to the effects of the moon’s influence. While there is a lot of scientific back-and-forth over the actual psychological effects the moon can have and small studies have confirmed the potential link, police and emergency personnel are often firm believers that there is a direct correlation.