Friday, October 18, 2013
Kent Scheidegger has this post at Crime & Consequences, suggesting that limiting the ability of the government to respond to defense evidence on mental state could have untoward consequences for crimnal defendants:
Once upon a time, the offense of driving while intoxicated meant driving while actually intoxicated. Blood alcohol level raised a presumption, but the defendant could rebut it. (Contrary to myth, impairment is not a simple function of blood alcohol level.) Sandstrom v. Montana said no more presumptions. Per se alcohol laws said no more rebuttal. DUI defendants were much better off with the now-forbidden presumption.