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PMS and Crime

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  1. PMS and Crime

  2. History • England 1845 • Unnamed woman was acquitted of shoplifting • England 1851 • Two women not guilty of Homicide • Temporary Insanity as a Consequence of “Suppression of Menstruation”

  3. Lombroso and Ferrero • 1894 Study • Of 80 Women arrested for “Resistance to public officials” 71 were menstruating

  4. PMS • Abdominal Bloating, Cramps, including leg cramps, Swelling of body parts, hypoglycemia • Depression, anxiety, Anger , Guilt, Fatigue, Aggressiveness • Intolerance, Irritability, Restlessness, Sugar and Salt Craving, Increased intake of Alcohol, Hysteria

  5. Diagnosing PMS (Criminology) • Symptoms must be enough to require medical treatment or a decrease in functioning • No other cause of symptoms • Ovulation or shortly thereafter • Recurrent • Symptoms Go away as normal part of cycle

  6. PMS Research is Varied • Some Sources say that 90% of women experience a small percentage of symptoms, others say 40% • 5 studies from 5 different countries: Fewer than 10% of respondents report severe symptoms (Susan Johnson, 1987)

  7. PMS as Criminal Causation Antisocial Behavior of any Kind is extremely Rare

  8. Statistics 45 Per Cent of Attempted Suicides occurred during the week preceding Menstruation in a 1968 Study (Wallach and Rubin)

  9. Statistics 67% of Alcohol Drinking Binges during PMS

  10. Studies • North Carolina Prison Study • 41 % of the inmate assaults during PMS (1971) (Ellis and Austin)

  11. Brunetti and Taff 1984 • Of 42 New York State Inmates Interviewed, 62 per cent were premenstrual during the crime commission

  12. D’Orbam and Dalton • 156 British Women imprisoned for theft, prostitution and drunkenness almost half were during paramenstruum • 50 Violent crime Females, 44% during PMS

  13. Data Collection Done by interviews, relying on the Statement of Arrestee

  14. Dalton • UK Physician • Defense Expert on PMS • Connection with PMS and Crime PMS Depression Irritability Psychosis

  15. PMS As a Legal Defense • Reid v Florida Real estate Commission (1966) • People V Santos, Brooklyn 1982

  16. Insanity Defense

  17. History • Henry III(1216-1272) granted pardons for those who killed while of unsound mind • Edward I (1272-1307) Pardonable Homicide: A Special Verdict: Spared life, Loss of Property • Edward II (1307-1327) “Madness” a defense

  18. The Corpus Delecti The Body of the Crime

  19. Corpus Delecti • Mens Rea • Actus Reus • The Mens Rea and Actus Reus are related or fused. • Attendant Circumstances • In some cases, results.

  20. Seven Elements of a Crime Harm Punishment Legality Concurrence Actus reus Causation Mens rea

  21. Mens Rea • The Criminal Intent • The Mental State Required for a crime.

  22. Actus Reus “The Guilty Act” Without an act, the crime is not consummated. For example, I could intend to poison a person.No crime is committed without carrying it out.

  23. Standards of Insanity • McNaughton Rule • Irresistable Impulse • Substantial Capacity

  24. McNaughton Rule • Oldest Insanity defense • At the Exact Time of the Act • Cognitive Test: Must Know Right From Wrong

  25. Irresistable Impulse • Supplement the McNaughton Rule • Insane or Controlled by an Impulse

  26. Substantial Capactity • Lacks Capacity • To Appreciate His/her Criminal Conduct • Or to Conform His Conduct to Law • By mental disease or Defect

  27. One in Two Million Cases Per Year No Jury Appeal Public is Skeptical

  28. McNaughton Rule: 16 States • Irresistible Impulse: 4 States • Substantial Capacity : All federal Circuits, California (24 States) • Other: 4 States • N Standard: 3 States