Thursday, January 21, 2010

Are medical problems valid excuses?

I admit it, I over think.

The Roger Stephens case has been on my mind.

If you remember, Roger Stephens is the guy from Stone Mountain who lost his temper and slapped a 2-year-old child of a stranger in the Wal-Mart store. He was just sentenced to 1 year in prison along with counseling, etc.

I've been wondering if Stephens' lawyer had his client tested for diabetes/high blood pressure or even testosterone problems. Maybe he did and they didn't find anything. I'm not making excuses for Stephens, but I know in the past, there were women who were found not guilty of murder because they had severe PMS! So if Stephens had a blood sugar issue, couldn't that be a defense?

I found that Stephens had the same defense attorney (Jeff Sliz) who defended Laurie Alexander, a woman from Lawrenceville who was accused of stabbing her husband with a kitchen knife, after she found out the night before that he had been having an affair. That woman was acquitted, and that looked like an open/shut case to me that she was going to be found guilty (I was wrong, but that was just my peanut gallery opinion, I wasn't on the jury seeing/hearing all the facts in the case of course).

Do you feel that medical issues should be a valid point at all in defense cases? Or do you think that regardless of a person's medical issues, they are guilty when they do something and should serve the time?

Related links:

Grouchy A-hole Roger Stephens found guilty
Creative Loafing

Walmart Slapper Found Guilty
Coosa Valley News

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