With the exception of liability without fault, which requires only actus reus, a crime requires two elements, actus reus and mens rea. While most criminal defenses attempt to excuse, justify or exculpate the defendant’s criminal guilt by addressing mens rea, the automatism defense is different in that it attempts to prove that the defendant did not actually commit actus reus. Automatism can therefor apply to both conventional cases and cases of strict liability & vicarious liability. If the defendant is found to have been acting as an automaton (“a machine that moves”) when the crime was committed, that is, totally unconsciously and involuntarily, then he cannot be said to have been “acting” at all, in a legal sense. And without actus reus, the defendant cannot be held criminally liable for his actions.
VLA COMMENT: The rise of information about pharmacogenetics (see room on right side list on this site) citing the inability of individuals to metabolize the popular pharmacueticals leading to mass shootings, suicides will give the legal professional plenty of business for those who have ears to hear!
We are at the cutting edge of its exposure right now in 2019/20. Attorney’s get educated and open up several bank accounts in different banks.
Dr. Lucire’s study: Having gained access through many attorneys of clients who were convicted of homicide, Dr. Lucire, an Australian Psychiatrist and researcher into pharmacogenetics, shares her study of men and women, finally, taken off their prescription drugs, who relate heinous (emphasis added) homicidal ideations that led them to kill their loved ones.
Subject 1, in her own words:
My husband was drinking. I took small doses of valerian for a month and had weird dreams and premonitions. When I took nortriptyline, I immediately wanted to kill myself, talked myself out of it. I’d never had thoughts like that before. My husband was angry, shouting. I walked outside a lot, with palpitations, trouble breathing, and became more depressed. My smoking went up to 25 a day, no alcohol. I didn’t sleep for two nights, dreamt, then slept maybe three hours, felt awful. I dreamt that my daughter had dark teeth and I saw a black halo around her head, a spear hanging over it. I felt like a zombie. I believed I had to help my daughter, that a bad spirit possessed her. I picked up a knife and stabbed her and woke up. I was not myself. I was looking on from the outside, controlled by dark forces. She said: “Mum, what are you doing here?” I realized what I’d done. I asked my husband to kill me. He called the police. I felt better in the police cells without the pills, but the pills started again and thoughts of killing myself returned.