This comment examines the development and significance of recognition of automatism as a defense to criminal charges. The author starts by discussing the medical concept of automatism. The author includes a discussion of the possible causes of automatism as well as the English and American law on the subject. Next the author explores whether a separate automatism defense should be recognized based on a common law argument and constitutional argument. The author concludes that the automatism defense should be recognized because there is not fault on the part of the criminal defendant and therefore no responsibility for the criminal act.
Patricia E. Gould,
Automatism: The Unconsciousness Defense to a Criminal Action,
San Diego L. Rev.
Available at: https://digital.sandiego.edu/sdlr/vol15/iss4/10