5Trans(gender) Panic Defense
On October 4, 2002, a transsexual woman named Gwen Araujo was tortured and murdered by three men who had sex with her, while somehow unaware of her biological orientation (either her male genitalia had been disguised by a Romulan cloaking device or her attackers weren't the brightest bulbs in the chandelier--evidence supports the latter).
The defendants claimed they were enraged to insanity when they realized that Araujo had man parts. Whereas most people would've had a couple more drinks and a hot shower, these gentlemen decided the most appropriate reaction would be a brutal murder by way of shovels and pickaxes. Apparently there is no greater trauma than a blowjob from a transsexual (an experience Cracked writers refer to as "Wednesday").
Her name is Stanley.
Did it Work?
Yes and no. The first trial resulted in a hung jury, essentially indicating that a room of 12 people couldn't decide whether killing someone for having weird genitals was wrong.
In the second trial, the defense attorney realized that none of the jurors were drooling into cups or wearing special "indoor helmets" and abandoned the Trans Panic Defense in favor of a more reasoned, less retarded approach. This probably seemed like less of a good idea when the murderers were quickly found guilty.
4The Idiot Defense
Richard M. Scrushy, the founder of healthcare service provider HealthSouth, was charged with violations of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002, which in essence punishes corporations for routinely dicking over their investors a la Enron. Five of HealthSouth's Chief Financial Officers pled guilty to fraud charges, and in turn pointed the finger at Scrushy as the ringleader of the firm's unethical douchebaggery.
Also: Weird, right?
Scrushy's lawyers claimed he was completely ignorant of any wrongdoing, arguing that as head of a major corporation, his attention was diverted from trivial matters (accounts, shareholders, human resources, white collar crime) so that he could be free to focus on the more important aspects of high-level management (golfing, sleeping on huge piles of money).
So they essentially had Scrushy walk into the courtroom like Ricky Ricardo, throw up his hands and exclaim, "WHAT HAPPENED?" as if he had just come home from the Babalu show to find that Lucy had zanily embezzled millions of dollars from company shareholders.
"Lucy, you got some 'splainin' to- IS THAT EIGHT MILLION FUCKING DOLLARS??"
Did it Work?
Scrushy was found not guilty on the grounds that no one could prove he was aware of the skullduggery going on in his own company, demonstrating once again that race, religion, age and sexual orientation aren't relevant in deciding a person's guilt or innocence so long as they're willing to act like a complete fucking moron in open court.
That wasn't enough to fool a later judge, however, when a lot of the screwed shareholders sued Scrushy and won $2.9 billion, a sum Scrushy said he would be happy to pay because, "I have a lot of extra money, from all that fraud."