THE INTOXICATED OFFENDER - A PROBLEM OF RESPONSIBILITY
AbstractIs the present method of handling the intoxicated offender either rational or effective? Stanley M. Beck and Graham E. Parker trace the history of intoxication in the criminal law and the effects of alcohol on the individual in order to provide a response to their question. The issue comes back to voluntariness, for the truth is that the acutely intoxicated offender may have no more appreciation of the nature of an act and its consequences than the psychotic offender who may be excused from responsibility based on the M’Naghten rules and the expanded mental illness defence under s. 16(2) of the Canadian Criminal Code. Society, however, rails against the claim of non-culpability from one who commits a crime in a self-induced state of intoxication. The result is a compromise between the requirement of the criminal law for a voluntary act, and the judgement of society that a wrongdoer not be exonerated simply because he or she was drunk. The authors suggest rational and effective solutions at a time that demands a more rational and accurate analysis of the problem.
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