Criminal Justice

Ky. Jury Quickly Rejects Sleep-Deprivation aka ‘Caffeine’ Defense


A Kentucky jury deliberated for only 90 minutes on Friday before convicting a murder defendant who had claimed he suffered from a sleep-deprived psychosis that made him falsely confess to killing his wife.

Jurors in Campbell County recommended a life sentence for the defendant, Woody Will Smith, Cincinnati.com and the Associated Press report. The story headlines describe Smith’s legal arguments as a caffeine defense, although that tack was apparently abandoned at trial, according to earlier reports.

Smith’s lawyer had suggested in court documents before trial that his client had ingested massive amounts of caffeine, resulting in an overdose that stoked sleeplessness and insanity. At trial, the defense tweaked the legal theory, emphasizing the sleep deprivation rather than the caffeine overdose, arguing that a lack of sleep caused delusions that spurred Smith’s confession.

Prosecutor Michelle Snodgrass rejected that argument, Cincinnati.com reports. “The only delusion presented in this courtroom … was the statement the defendant was delusional,” she argued.

Previous:
A Dip in the Pool Results in Charges Against Boxer-Clad Federal Prosecutor

Next:
Under Pressure in Criminal Probe of Stevens Case Handling, DOJ Prosecutor Commits Suicide


We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy. Flag comment for moderator.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.