Sandra has a post about an interesting case of a person who commited a crime (and was acquitted) while sleepwalking. The term “sleep disorder” was used as a defence.
But, is it a disorder at all? It naturally occurs in a proportion of human population. It is called a disorder because it does not happen to everyone and it can be dangerous for the sleepwalker or the people around him/her. Nobody is really trying to treat it, except for making sure that habitual sleepwalkers have a safe environment in which to walk at night (multiple complicated locks on the doors, etc).
Yes, you are completely unconscious, you cannot plan what to do once you are asleep and walking, you have no awareness of what you are doing while you are sleepwalking, and you have no recollection of what you did once you wake up. This would make acquittal a correct decision, without any need to invoke a ‘disorder’.
Yet, a person who would commit crime when awake will commit one when sleepwalking, and person who would never do so while awake is unlikely to get started while asleep.
Michael Rack does not have much on the topic on his blog, and neither does Michael Breus, but there is more here.
This is also similar to the case of sexsomnia.
So, what do you think? Is this a good alibi? If you did something bad while unconscious, would you want to be acquitted?
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