Twinkie defense  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

"Twinkie defense" is a derisive label for an improbable legal defense. It is not a recognized legal defense in jurisprudence, but a catchall term coined by reporters during their coverage of the trial of defendant Dan White for the murders of San Francisco city supervisor Harvey Milk and mayor George Moscone. White's defense was that he suffered diminished capacity as a result of his depression. His change in diet from health food to Twinkies and other sugary food was said to be a symptom of depression. This defense is a claim that sugary food was not itself responsible for White's criminal behavior, but rather that it was a symptom of depression, which was the underlying cause. White was convicted of voluntary manslaughter.


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Twinkie defense" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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