Astronaut Stalker Will Use Insanity Defense

Former astronaut Lisa Nowak came to our attention for being so crazy that she wore diapers on her cross-country trip to kidnap and maybe kill her ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend. Now she plans to tell the jury exactly that.

Yesterday her attorneys filed notice with the court that they may use the insanity defense. She’s already plead not guilty to charges of attempted kidnapping, battery, and burglary.

More about Florida’s insanity defense and my thoughts on the likelihood that anyone would buy it in this case are in the extended entry.

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In Florida, the insanity defense is now codified in Fla. Stat. § 775.027. It requires that a defendant prove that he or she was insane at the time of the criminal act. Their current mental state is not important to the defense which has two parts:

Insanity is established when: (a) The defendant had a mental infirmity, disease, or defect; and

(b) Because of this condition, the defendant:

1. Did not know what he or she was doing or its consequences; or

2. Although the defendant knew what he or she was doing and its consequences, the defendant did not know that what he or she was doing was wrong.

As a matter of law, she will have to prove both parts by “clear and convincing evidence.”

I don’t doubt that she’ll have expert witnesses testifying as to her “mental infirmity, disease, or defect.” Let’s face it, we know she’s crazy. The real issue is whether or not she’s crazy enough to have failed to apprehend the consequences of her actions or to understand that her actions were wrong.

I don’t think the defense will convince anyone of that second part. She wore a wig and a trench-coat. If she had no idea of the consequences or that she was doing something wrong, she wouldn’t have realized she needed the disguise.

~ by Gabriel Malor on August 29, 2007.

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