Sleep murders

Major

4 legs good 2 legs bad
V.I.P.
#1
What should happen to someone who murders another person while sleepwalking? Is it possible to prove that the murderer was asleep? Even if you can prove the murderer was asleep, should he/she be charged with murder? Apparently this kind of thing has happened before.
 

Mirage

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#2
I think as rare as this is and as hard as it would be to prove it's something that has to be charged as normal murder. Otherwise you'll have lawyers saying their client was sleep walking all the time.

It would depend on the murder. If it was with a weapon or the killer strangled them or something I think that's enough to put them away at least.

Plus we don't need sleep walking killers running free...
 

Major

4 legs good 2 legs bad
V.I.P.
#3
How much would it suck though if you killed someone in your sleep tonight? You've never had any intentions on killing anyone before, and bam, you're charged with murder and spending the rest of your life in prison.
 

Mirage

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#4
Well how much worse would it be if dozens of murderers walked free because their lawyers were able to convince the jury that they killed in their sleep?

I can't even imagine the chances of actually killing somebody in your sleep though. It's gotta be 1 in a billion or more.
 
#5
We actually had a pretty heated discussion about this in one of my psychology courses a few years back. I think it was this trial that brought the subject up..

Sleepwalking and Murder

I believe he was convicted although all evidence pointed to the fact that he was not aware of the crime he convicted.
Here's another story. This man was aquitted, but sent to a psychiatric hospital due to insanity,

BBC NEWS | UK | How sleepwalking can lead to killing

Dr Ebrahim said the tests showed Mr Lowe had indeed been sleepwalking at the time of the attack, in a state called automatism.

Automatism - defined legally as acting involuntarily - falls into two types. These are insane automatism, considered a "disease of the mind", and non-insane automatism, linked to external factors.
Dr Ebrahim said: "There have been about 68 cases worldwide of murder in sleepwalking and it's for that reason that this case has gathered so much interest.
So, although rare it certainly can happen.

Another high-profile case was that of REM guitarist Peter Buck, who was acquitted of attacking BA staff on a transatlantic flight to London in 2002.
If I were on a jury in a case like this, I'd have a very difficult time taking away someones freedom for a murder they had no control over.
 

pro2A

Hell, It's about time!
#6
I saw something like this on TV once... if its the one I'm thinking about they found the lady drowned in the pool by her husband, and proved he was actually aware of the murder and not sleepwalking. I don't think it's NOT possible, but I'm sure its rare.
 
#7
I saw something like this on TV once... if its the one I'm thinking about they found the lady drowned in the pool by her husband, and proved he was actually aware of the murder and not sleepwalking. I don't think it's NOT possible, but I'm sure its rare.
Rare indeed. But, what would you do if you found yourself on the jury and it was proven that the murder was commited without the "murderer" being aware of their actions?
 

pro2A

Hell, It's about time!
#8
If they could prove that the suspect was medically incapable of knowing, its really not his fault. It would be his condition. Especially if he was an upstanding citizen.
 

ysabel

/ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5
#9
Is it possible to kill someone in your sleep? Yes.
If you did it, should you be charged? I think no. Your lawyer can plead insanity defense by saying you were not fully aware of what was happening at the time of the crime. The prosecution better not show that you have a good motive though. :)

However, I have reservations against insanity pleas. I think they should still be guilty (of the act) even if their intention wasn't there. Like another level of verdict...
 
#10
Interesting question. :) Innocent until proven guilty says: hey. There is a distinction between an accident and a murder. In my opinion, if they can't prove intent or consciousness in the act then you're innocent of murder and it moves over to the accidental zone. It's up to the system to prove otherwise. I'd try and sympathise with the lawyers eating through that mindf__k but that's their job and they're paid well to shovel through it. The difficultly level of solving a case shouldn't push it towards one verdict or another. Bring out the doctors, forensics and psychiatrists. If there is a valid case, I'm sure they could make it.

That said, if I was going to murder someone, this would now be one of my prefered methods. That is a dilemma and half.
 
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