Legal Defense

Topics: Criminal law, Insanity defense, Crime Pages: 2 (793 words) Published: November 12, 2011
In every criminal case there is always a person that is either guilty or not guilty. There are steps that need to be taken before the judge or jury can decide who is telling the truth. There are various types of criminal defenses that are used in a criminal trial to prove the defendant is innocent.

Various types of criminal defenses
There are various types of criminal defense when it comes to criminal trials. This means the defendant and their attorney have to present evidence and arguments to show why the person should not be found guilty of the charges that have been filled against them. In every trial, a defendant has the right to argue the reason why they are innocent as well as the right to a fair and impartial jury. There are three main legal defenses that are used in criminal trials. The first one is justification, which means that they did commit a crime, however they had a good reason as in the case of self –defense against someone they felt that was going to harm them. A popular case that shows of this type of defense would be the subway vigilante Bernard Goetz who shot four muggers on the New York subway and was found not guilty of assault and murder. The second main type is an alibi defense. An example of this is when the defendant could not have committed the crime because they were not at the crime scene and they have witnesses to back them up. A case showing this type of defense would be the Amanda Knox murder trial where a guilty verdict was overturned. The third type is an excuse defense. Excuse means they did commit the crime but had a reason that they were not responsible for their actions. An example would be that they didn’t know they were committing the crime because they were under medication and were not fully conscious of their actions. This would include the defense of insanity. A case where the insanity defense was used is the LaShuan Harris case, where she drowned all three of her children so they could be...
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