‘Too Much Caffeine': The New Murder Defense?

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Daniel Leclair / Reuters

A man in Kentucky who is set to stand trial for the murder of his wife, is planning to use the temporary insanity defense, according to the Associated Press. The cause of insanity? Caffeine intoxication from too many soft drinks and energy drinks.

The defendant, Woody Will Smith, was charged with strangling his wife, Amanda Hornsby-Smith, with an extension cord in 2009. Smith’s trial is set to begin today and his attorney, Shannon Sexton, has already filed notice of their defense.

The AP reports:

“Sexton filed notice with the Newport court of plans to argue his client ingested so much caffeine in the days leading up to the killing that it rendered him temporarily insane — unable even to form the intent of committing a crime.”

Now you may be thinking that there is no way this defense will fly. Think again.

In 2009, charges against Daniel Noble were dropped after he was accused of mowing down two pedestrians with his car in Washington. The judge dismissed the charges after tests showed that coffee had triggered a rare form of bipolar disorder, rendering Noble temporarily insane.

While it’s not clear whether such a defense will work in Smith’s case–neither pedestrian died in the Noble case–the whole notion does raise the concern of caffeine’s potency as a drug. Not to mention the question of whether or not “my coffee made me do it” could actually become the new defense. (via the Associated Press)

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@DrRubidium @deborahblum @Chemjobber - Coffee makes me temporarily "insane," in that I get a lot more late-night blogging done ; )