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Criminal Law Keyed to Osler
United States v. Garcia
An officer responded to call that there was a man threatening others with a gun. The officer was pointed to the defendant, drove next to him in a marked police car, and asked him what was going on. Defendant pulled out a gun and pointed it at the officer. The officer fired a shot at the defendant and hit him in the stomach.
The call was placed by the defendant’s sister, after he threatened to shoot her son (his nephew) and his friend at their home. The reason for shooting them was because the nephew’s roommate told the dogs to shut up when they were barking. Defendant had a long history of drug and alcohol use, had smoked 9-10 vials of crack cocaine that day, and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the past. There were two conflicting expert reports- one from the government that the defendant was not insane or influenced by anything besides substance dependence, while the defendant’s report stated he had severe bipolar disorder and was in a manic state of mind during the incident.
The jury instructions included the insanity defense, and stated however that voluntary use of drugs or alcohol do not give rise to mental disease or defect nor can they be used to determine if the defendant understood the acts he was committing at the time of the incident. The defendant wanted to include jury instructions that if substance abuse caused another mental illness, the effects of the substance abuse when assessing sanity, but those instructions were rejected.
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