CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, January 21, 2019

Spivak on CTE as Criminal Defense

Russell Spivak (WilmerHale) has posted Not Guilty by Reason of CTE: The Imminent Rise of Football's Foil as a Criminal Defense (Criminal Law Bulletin, Vol. 54, No. 6, 2018) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Upon his suicide, former NFL player and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez was found to have Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). Some were prompted to ask whether his actions were caused by his disease, creating an argument that Hernandez was not guilty by reason of insanity. This article explains CTE in greater depth as well as the current criminal insanity defense frameworks and tests. Thereafter, it theorizes the applicable of CTE to said tests to determine whether CTE could ever provide the foundation to an insanity defense.

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