Unit 1-Chapter 2

An Overview of Defenses

Common Defenses to Criminal Charges An explanation of various defenses. (Nolo Press)
Defenses to Crime A summary of the justification and excuse defenses. (MegaLinks in Criminal Justice)
Findlaw: Common Defenses to Criminal Charges An overview of the most common defenses.
Wikipedia: Criminal Defenses Links to articles on different defenses.
The Claiming of Patty Hearst Full-length treatment of the Patty Hearst kidnapping, trial, and aftermath. (Court TV’s Crime Library)
Yahoo Directory: Patty Hearst
Patricia Hearst Case Links to articles.
Wikipedia: Patty Hearst
Defenses of Necessity and Choice of Lesser Evils History and practice of this defense (Betty Dintelman)
Ratzlaf v. U.S. (1994) U.S. Supreme Court case on ignorance of the law.


FindLaw Library: Self-Defense Articles related to self-defense.
Use of Force An overview of the law. Use navigation tabs on bottom left.
Florida’s New Gun Law Loosens Curbs (Audio file) Discussion of the Florida law and self-defense. (NPR)
Florida’s New “Stand Your Ground” Law A critical look at the law by law professor Anthony Sebok. (FindLaw)
The “Battered Woman’s Defense”: Its History and Future (FindLaw)


Wikipedia: Insanity Defense
Encyclopedia of Everyday Law: Insanity Defense
The Insanity Defense: A Closer Look Questions and answers about the defense. (Washington Post)
M’Naghten Case (1843) The case that established the first insanity defense.
The Insanity Defense and Diminished Capacity Background and case law on the insanity defense and diminished capacity. (Cornell Law School)
Frontline: A Crime of Insanity An in-depth look at an insanity case, which includes a listing of state insanity laws. (PBS)
The Insanity Defense A long study of the defense. (Court TV’s Crime Library)
Jailing the Mentally Ill A case study of an attempt at the defense. (American RadioWorks)
Philosophy Talk: The Insanity Defense A discussion with Susan Wolf, professor of philosophy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. (Audio file)
Philosophical Perspectives on the Insanity Defense (PDF file) An article examining the defense.
Book Review: Wild Beasts and Idle Humours: The Insanity Defense from Antiquity to the Present (Bryn Mawr Classical Review)
Wikipedia: John Hinckley Jr.
PBS: American Experience: John Hinckley Jr.
The John Hinckley Case Full-length treatment of the case. (Court TV’s Crime Library)
Yahoo Directory: John Hinckley Jr.
The John Hinckley Trial 1982 Extensive site. (Famous American Trials)
NMHA Policy Positions: In Support of the Insanity Defense A policy statement in favor of the insanity defense. (National Mental Health Association)
By Reason of Insanity: An Exploration of the Mental Disease/Defect Defense An online curriculum by Angela Beasley-Murray. (Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute)
The Insanity Defense: On Being Insane in Sane Places An overview of the insanity defense and the issue of whether it should remain in effect.
Dodging the Insanity Defense With Diminished Capacity A web site on the insanity defense by Harlow M. Huckabee, a former defense attorney and prosecutor.
Yahoo Directory: Mental Health Policy and Law


Explainer: What Is Entrapment? (Slate)
The Sting of Entrapment Discussion of the elements of the entrapment defense. (Suite 101)
Defending Entrapment Charges A brief discussion of the defense. (Online Lawyer Source)
Jacobson v. U.S. (1992) U.S. Supreme Court case overturning a conviction on the grounds of police entrapment.
British Arms Dealer Arrested in Attempted Sale of Shoulder-Fired Missile Department of Justice news release on Lakhani case.



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