Commonwealth v. Berry

Drug Court

Commonwealth v. Berry

Case Year: 
2010
State of Origin: 
Massachusetts

"A defendant's lack of criminal responsibility cannot be solely the product of intoxication caused by her voluntary consumption of alcohol or another drug. [Commonwealth v. Sheehan, 376 Mass. 765 , 770 (1978).]  However, a defendant is entitled to an instruction to the jury that the defendant “is not criminally responsible if you have a reasonable doubt as to whether, when the crime was committed, the defendant had a latent mental disease or defect that became activated by the voluntary consumption of drugs or alcohol, or an active mental disease or defect that became intensified by the voluntary consumption of drugs or alcohol, which activated or intensified mental disease or defect then caused her to lose the substantial capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of her conduct or the substantial capacity to conform her conduct to the requirements of the law.