Could high testosterone mitigate in a rape/ assault case?

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by oldcolt, Jan 29, 2010.

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  1. Could high testosterone levels be succesfully used in mitigation in a rape/ assault case by a defendant?

    Deliberately machiavellian (but serious) question purely to stimulate a debate.

    As women have succesfully been able to claim chemical imbalance during the menstrual cycle in mitigation, when charged with murder/ assault; I am intrigued to know whether a similar case could (or already has been) made by a male in a rape/ assault case; claiming high testosterone levels as an excuse?

    Please note. I have no hidden agenda and mean absolutely no offence to those who have suffered rape or assault by either sex.
  2. Interesting question; I suspect counter to that mitigation would be evidence that rape is not usually connected with a high "sexual ability" or "high sex drive", if anything the opposite. It seems usually to be a need for power and / or vengeance against the chosen victim as an individual, or where the victim is simply in the eyes of a rapist a convenient way to revenge on society in general.
  3. Interestingly, although the original question refered to Rape and Assault, you may be able to introduce evidence of high testosterone levels as a defence to murder by claiming diminished responsibility through a temporary abnormality of mind.

    Although I don't think there has been a case re testosterone there was a successful defence of a murder charge (dropped to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility) brought on by perverted sexual desires that created irresistible impulses. You may be able to argue that someone with extremely high testosterone may suffer irresistible violent urges?

    R v Byrne (1970)

    [Diminished responsibility - abnormality of the mind impairing mental responsibility]
    D strangled to death and then mutilated a young woman in a YWCA, confessing to both in full. D raised the defence of diminished responsibility. Since childhood he had suffered from perverted sexual desires that created irresistible impulses. His acts were driven by one of these impulses on the day in question.

    Held: Diminished responsibility covers all the activities of the mind. Abnormality of the mind does no have to be connected with madness.

    Lord Parker CJ.
    (1) To satisfy the requirements of this defence under the Homicide Act 1957 s 2, D must demonstrate that he suffered from an 'abnormality of the mind' arising from a condition of arrested or retarded development of mind or any inherent causes, or was induced by disease or injury; and that the said abnormality substantially impaired his mental responsibility for his acts in doing or being a party to a killing.
    (2) An abnormality of the mind is to be defined widely: 'a state of mind so different from that of ordinary human beings that the reasonable man would term it abnormal' and covering all cognitive aspects, from perception to rationality and 'willpower'
  4. No who ever committed the rape or assault is responsible for their own actions
  5. This is an interesting question, although I think that a prosecutor would seek to strike-it-down on the basis that men are generally larger and more powerful physically.
  6. Fugly

    Fugly LE DirtyBAT

    Chubb, I sincerely hope you get raped by a serial killer.
  7. Chubb, fcuck off you simplistic creature! A serious question does not need your crayoning.
  8. Unless it was a same sex rape. 8O
  9. WTF?

    If you're Chubb - from what I've learned of your actions from the Arrsepedia - do, please, go * yourself. Thanks, SO much.
  10. not likely, even they have standards
  11. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    Sounds like a good description of MDN

  12. I think the defence brought by Bryne was purpose made for quite a few arrsers :D
  13. Interesting question.

    Wouldn't this rest on the testimony of an expert witness? I mean it wouldn't it require a clinician or academic with a specialist knowledge of hormones and behaviour to say this could happen (if indeed high levels of testosterone can cause aggressive/aggressive-sexual behaviour)?

    Although if the individual suffered from a "history of high testosterone" then maybe it would still be manslaughter because the individual never saught professional help.

    Whereas maybe if it was a temporary increase - e.g. medications side effects- then maybe it would be good grounds for defence.

    Although a hypothetical question, I think it is a theme that is going to become reality in the future as our understanding of behavioural neuroscience, the effect of physiology, genetics etc, on behaviour, becomes more sophisticated.

    Sort of related, I remember reading about a murder charge that was dropped to manslaughter. The individual concerned had ADHD which is associated with poor executive control and behavioural inhibition.

    I think the judge accepted that he may have been unable to restrain himself (it was during a fight) but he was responsible for putting himself in that position.
  14. I would have thought that any excuse can be used as mitigation, it just depends on how believable the defence counsel is and how gullible the judge and or jury are.