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February 27, 1892


JAMA. 1892;XVIII(9):267. doi:10.1001/jama.1892.02411130023003

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There are three distinct theories concerning the relation of crime and inebriety, two of which are prominent in the court room, and in all legal circles. The first assumes that inebriety aggravates all crime, that when it is associated with criminal acts it implies greater guilt and culpability.

This is expressed in a sentence, "Drunkenness is no excuse for crime," and repeated is if it was an infallible truth. In the practice of the lower courts this is assumed to be highest law, and followed more or less closely according to the judgment of the court. The second theory admits that in certain cases inebriety associated, or acting as a possible cause in crime, may be an insanity. Or more especially a condition, or state of brain disease, in which the nature of the crime or the acts of the person are not understood. As in delirium tremens, or alcoholic

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