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The frequent statement of prisoners in court that they did not remember anything about the crime they are accused of, appears from scientific study to be a psychological fact. How far this is true in all cases has not been determined, but there can be no question that crime is often committed without a conscious knowledge or memory of the act at the time.
It is well known to students of mental science, that in certain unknown brain states memory is palsied, and fails to note the events of life and surroundings. Like the somnambulist, the person may seem to realize his surroundings and be conscious of his acts, and later be unable to recall anything which has happened. These blanks of memory occur in many disordered states of the brain and body, but are usually of such short duration as not to attract attention. Sometimes events that occur in
CROTHERS TD. ALCOHOLIC TRANCE IN CRIMINAL CASES.Read in the Section of Medical Jurispritdence, at the Fortieth Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association, June, 1889.. JAMA. 1890;XIV(14):502–505. doi:10.1001/jama.1890.02410140018002c