Captain America: The Winter Soldier might not be out yet, but fans of the comics already know some of the key plot points. That’s why without releasing any spoilers, we can safely assume that Captain America’s sidekick and best friend, Bucky, didn’t really die in the first movie, but instead lost an arm and was kept in suspended animation by the Soviets, who also provided Bucky with a bionic arm. When the Soviets wake him up periodically over the next 60 years, Bucky’s severe memory loss allows the Russians to reprogram him to become an assassin with the code name: Winter Soldier. As the Winter Soldier, Bucky kills a number of important political targets. Captain America must stop his friend, but he also feels he must rescue him from his brainwashed state. You’ll have to watch the movie to know the outcome, but assuming Captain America is successful, Bucky could likely be charged with espionage and treason. That’s where San Diego federal criminal lawyer Peter M. Liss comes in.
While the Winter Soldier undoubtedly would be guilty of espionage and treason, Bucky would have a strong insanity defense against the charges given that his higher brain function was destroyed in the accident that led everyone to believe he had died.
In order for a San Diego criminal attorney to prove that a person was legally insane, the person must have a mental disease or defect that resulted in him or her being incapable of knowing or understanding the nature and quality of his or her act and of distinguishing right from wrong at the time of the offense. Suffering brain damage severe enough that someone can reprogram you to become an assassin who is completely unaware of your past undoubtedly falls under this definition of legal insanity, which means Bucky should be able to escape these charges.
In a major case like this that involved treason and espionage, it might be more difficult for a San Diego criminal lawyer to prove their defendant was suffering from insanity at the time of his or her crimes, especially if his or her mental faculties were restored by the time of the trial. But Bucky would have two distinct advantages on his side when it comes to swaying a jury. First, he was a decorated WWII veteran known for his heroic acts at the side of one of America’s greatest and most trusted heroes. Second, that hero, Captain America, would likely be there to testify for his friend at the trial in order to corroborate Bucky’s tale of brainwashing and recovery.
Obviously, Bucky’s situation is a particularly unique one, but it does show how versatile the insanity defense is for all types of crimes and mental illnesses. If you aren’t sure if you can use the insanity defense in a case you have been accused of, San Diego criminal attorney Peter M. Liss can evaluate your case to help you work out the best defense for your specific situation. If you are ready to schedule a free initial consultation, please call (760) 643-4050 OR (858) 486-3024.
Creative Commons Image by Pat Loika