Guest Author - Donna Johnson
Comedian Flip Wilson made famous the phrase, ďThe devil made me do it!Ē But as humorous as his act was, sometimes the excuses offered up by accused criminals make Wilson look as serious as a heart attack. From the improbable to the downright ridiculous, here are a few of these eccentric excuses.
Letís begin with Dan White. In 1978, he shot and killed San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk. White, who was said to have been upset over not being reappointed Supervisor, offered a diminished capacity defense due to excessive indulgence in Twinkies. Whiteís claim that the high sugar content in the delicious snack cakes led to mental problems did succeed to a degree, as he was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter rather than murder. After serving a five-year sentence, White committed suicide in 1986.
New Hampshire resident Gene R. Morrill, facing 20 charges stemming from attempts to solicit 13-year-old boys over the Internet in 2008, claimed that he himself was molested in the past. Thatís not a new defense, but what made Morrillís tale unique was the identity of his alleged molester-Bigfoot. Morrill was found competent to stand trial and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Bigfoot is still at large.
In 2009, 48-year-old Keith R. Griffin of Jensen Beach, Florida was busted with p*rnographic images of children on his computerís hard drive. Itís not difficult to imagine someone claiming that they didnít download the images-maybe it was the carpet installer, the cable guy, Colonel Mustard in the study with the computer. But at least those excuses involve another person. Griffin chose to blame his cat. Finding it unlikely that a cat downloaded not one, not ten, but over 1,000 images without human assistance or knowledge, the judge in this case sentenced Griffin to 12.5 years in prison.
Despite the fact that empty cars put up less resistance, Micah Calamosca allegedly attempted to steal an occupied car in Philadelphia in 2011. Unfortunately for Calamosca, the carís occupant was a plainclothes police officer. Police report that the would-be thief had an excuse for his behavior, however-he was Batman. Well, not really Batman, thatís (most recently) Christian Bale. But the new Batman movie was filming in the area, and he of course was involved in the production, and tried to steal the car because the script called for it, according to the arrest report. Needless to say, police took Calamosca into custody faster than you can say, ďHoly handcuffs, Batman!Ē Charges against him are still pending as of this date.