The 7 Most Baffling Criminal Defenses (That Sort of Worked)

#3. Irresistible Impulse, a.k.a. I Just Couldn't Help Myself, Damnit

The Crime:

If you watched even one minute of late night talk show monologues in the 90s, then you know this story well.

On June 23, 1993, John Bobbitt came home after an evening of heavy drinking and decided that assaulting his wife Lorena would be the perfect nightcap (he was later acquitted of the charge, but we're guessing if your wife refers to a sexual encounter as "rape," it was neither welcomed nor appreciated). Once he was passed out in an alcoholic stupor, Lorena went to the kitchen and grabbed a carving knife. She then returned to the bedroom to perform an amateur penectomy on her sleeping husband, presumably after shouting "IT'S COCKSLICING TIME!" like The Thing.

Here is a picture of The Thing, because the alternative is a picture of dick-chopping.

The Defense:

Lorena's lawyer claimed that she removed her husband's penis due to "an irresistible impulse to sexually wound" him after years of domestic abuse. For those of you less familiar with the English language, "irresistible impulse" is basically an academic way of saying "I couldn't control myself" or "that dick was ASKING to get chopped."

Shut up. There's nothing funny about cutting someone's dick off.

Numerous cross-examinations of John Bobbitt did little to suggest he hadn't deserved what happened, though we imagine if his dick had been called to the stand it would have delivered a powerful testimony.

Did it Work?

In a verdict that sent shivers down the spines of drunken shitbags everywhere, Lorena was found not guilty. On one hand it's hard not to sympathize with the battered wife. On the other, it seems like every crazy thing you've done in your life could be written off as "irresistible impulse." We think this will be renamed the "I NEEDED to (punch that douchebag, steal those Cheetos, masturbate on the subway) Defense" in the near future. Possibly on our way home from work.

#2. Black Rage

The Crime:

Colin Ferguson boarded a train in Long Island on December 7, 1993, wholly dissatisfied with the level of service being provided. Unable to locate any comment cards, he chose to vent his frustration by pulling a gun and shooting 25 people, killing six. He was eventually overpowered by three passengers on the train and turned over the police.

The Defense:

Ferguson's lawyers put together a defense based on "black rage," following the rule that the best criminal defenses all share titles with 70s era blaxploitation movies. Ferguson's defense argued that he was driven temporarily insane with black rage as a result of living in a white-dominated society, and as such could not be held criminally liable for his actions.

Did it Work?

We may never know. Ferguson's high priced team of attorneys had prepared their opening remarks, claiming in several interviews that it would be a landmark case for race relations in the United States. Fortunately for race relations, Ferguson fired all his lawyers at the last second and chose to defend himself.


Ferguson, being crazy, came up with the even more landmark defense of alleging a computer chip had been implanted in his brain and requesting President Bill Clinton be called to the witness stand. He was unsurprisingly convicted on six counts of murder and 19 counts of attempted murder, and was sentenced 315 years to life in prison. Dude should have just said he was pissed off.

#1. The Evil Twin a.k.a. the Mirror, Mirror Defense

The Crime:

Mr. Raj (a name which undoubtedly fills its bearer with the insatiable urge to kill James Bond) was a 27-year-old Malaysian entrepreneur of sorts, working as a transport logistics manager moving a fiercely demanded product with a massive profit margin. In other words, he was a drug trafficker.

As all good things must come to an end, he was arrested and charged with transporting 166 kilos of cannabis and 1.7 kilos of raw opium in 2003. And while many parts of the world are coming around to the ideal of legalizing marijuana completely, the penalty for trafficking the stuff in Malaysia is death by hanging.

The Defense:

It appeared to be a slam dunk for the prosecution. Mr. Raj had been caught in the act and the powerful case against him included DNA, widely regarded as the Michael Jordan of physical evidence. The only problem was that there were two Mr. Rajs.

You see, R. Sathis Raj and Sabarish Raj were identical twins, and they decided to Parent Trap that shit. When questioned as to "Who dunnit?" each man pointed the finger at the other, blurring the line between good Raj and evil Raj. Malaysian prosecutors were baffled, presumably because neither Raj had a goatee.

Did it Work?

Here's the bitch about identical twins. Even if you caught one of them in the act, all you have to do is leave them alone in a room together for 30 seconds and you don't know who's who. Ultimately, both men were set free as neither the prosecutor nor the judge and jury could figure out which one was guilty. They couldn't even be certain which twin was arrested at the scene of the crime.

Thus they gave the brothers a new lease on life and one of the best bar stories ever told.

For more depressing wastes of taxpayer money, check out 7 Ridiculous Cases Where Animals Were Put On Trial. Or find out about more shithouse crazy criminals, in The 6 Most Utterly Insane Attempts to Kill a US President.

And stop by's Top Picks to see our Boob Insanity Defense.

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