Super Heroines in the Pub

This Monday, September 28th, I will be giving a talk on Batman villains and the insanity defense as part of a Super Heroines, Etc. event here in St. Louis.  Super Heroines, Etc. (aka SHE) is a St. Louis-based 501c3 nonprofit focused on empowering women through educational events, classes, and workshops.  I’m looking forward to it and hope to see many of you there!

5 responses to “Super Heroines in the Pub

  1. I would argue that for Harvey Dent, the insanity defense is unnecessary, since he is not capable of making rational decisions, and is thus not competent to stand trial (as demonstrated in Arkham Asylum).

    Imaginary transcript:
    Judge: Can you explain why you wish to waive your right to an attorney?
    Dent: The coin was shiny side up.

    Of course, if Dent were rendered competent to stand trial, he might be good enough to win an NGRI, unless he also handles the prosecution .

    • Dent would be regarded as “Sane, but mentally ill”. He does not use a coin to make Every. Single. Decision. And he commits several crimes without the coin or even on a whim (he once killed an underling in a psychotic rage because the guy spilled some wine).

      Also, what you are describing is the Irresistible Impulse defence- you are arguing that because Dent has the Irresistible Impulse to flip the coin AND to obey the coin that he is not legally sane if he commits a crime because the coin compels him too.

      But that isn’t how that defence works- the problem here is that Dent still knows he is breaking the law, knows he SHOULD seek medical help to help him control these murderous impulses…and he doesn’t, because he honestly doesn’t give a damn, even if he justifies it on occasion by arguing that the law is “broken” or that “justice is chance”.

      There is also the fact that having a compulsion to flip a coin and obey the coin doesn’t really explain why the choices he keeps flipping over are too often “what crimes should I commit today?”- the fact that he has violent, homicidal impulses and a pattern of criminal behaviour (and highly organised criminal behaviour at that- he runs a crime syndicate, after all) would be taken as separate from his specific obsessive-compulsive disorder, and rather make him an unhinged, paranoid sociopath who just so happens to have a form of OCD.

      In other words, this is akin to a violent personality who has an addiction to alcohol who knows damn well that they are prone to committing crimes when under the influence and not only keeps drinking, but refuses any form of help offered or to seek help out himself, because he just doesn’t give a damn. And again, this particular “alcoholic” happens to be the leader of a crime syndicate- even when he is “sober”, even when he is not being controlled by his compulsions, he is STILL engaging in criminal behaviour. Hence, he is guilty.

      Now, if you brought up his supposed Multiple-Personality Disorder, then you’d have a stronger case, but that is a different argument entirely. As it is, it turns out that compulsive coin flipping isn’t much of a legal defence when it comes to multiple counts of racketeering, stalking, assault, armed robbery, murder, attempted murder, mass murder and what likely amounts to acts of terrorism.

  2. In New York, they might get lucky with insanity defenses and easily swayable jurors.

    In Texas, Joker & Friends would get the chair – regardless of whether they actually committed the crime or not.

    Seriously, Gotham should export their super villains to Angola State in Louisiana. Let’s see Joker try to escape from this hell-hole.

    • Texas has the same problem that Gotham does… stopping one criminal doesn’t seem to keep the next one from stepping up to the plate.

  3. Silly question, are you planning on hitting Archon this coming weekend?

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