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Scarlet Speakers from the Heart of New Brunswick: An Unresolved Model of Responsibility: Intoxication as a Defense in the 19th and 21st Centuries with Michele Rotunda RC'89, GSN'98, GSNB'14 and Keith Delaney RC'89


Scarlet Speakers in the Heart of Your Home:

An Unresolved Model of Responsibility: Intoxication as a Defense in the 19th and 21st Centuries 

Michele Rotunda RC'89 GSN'98 GSNB'14 and Keith Delaney RC'89

Please join us virtually on December 1, 2020, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm. 


Michele RotundaMichele Rotunda is an Assistant Professor of History at Union County College. She is the author of the forthcoming book, A Drunkard’s Defense: Alcohol, Murder, and Medical Jurisprudence in Nineteenth-Century America.









Keith DelaneyLieutenant Keith Delaney is a retired law enforcement officer with twenty-eight years of experience as a detective, frontline supervisor and unit commander. During his tenure with the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office (BCPO), he worked in and commanded his department’s Narcotic Task Force, Money Laundering Squad, Homicide Squad, Fatal Accident Investigation Unit, Major Crimes Unit, Financial Crimes Unit and Intelligence and Counterterrorism Unit.






Is drunkenness a defense for murder? Is someone under the influence fully responsible for their actions? In the mid-nineteenth century, American courts began to weigh mens rea arguments against the need to protect society. In the 21st century, courts deal with the dueling concepts of diminished capacity and strict liability in cases that involve death and intoxication. What can murder cases tell us about America’s complicated relationship with alcohol and drugs?

Tuesday, December 1, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Event Recording: