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74 N.C. L. Rev. 731 (1995-1996)
Novel Theories of Criminal Defense Based upon the Toxicity of the Social Environment: Urban Psychosis, Television Intoxication, and Black Rage

handle is hein.journals/nclr74 and id is 747 raw text is: NOVEL THEORIES OF CRIMINAL DEFENSE
BASED UPON THE TOXICITY OF THE
SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT: URBAN
PSYCHOSIS, TELEVISION INTOXICATION,
AND BLACK RAGE
PATRICIA J. FALK*
Criminal defendants increasingly claim that their criminal behavior
was caused by social toxins that excuse or mitigate their guilt. In
this Article, Professor Falk demonstrates that these claims are not
aberrational doctrinal proposals, but rather are sophisticated
extensions of existing criminal doctrine commensurate with
scientific advancements.  Unlike prevalent short-term  causal
explanations for criminal behavior, these novel extensions serve to
elucidate long-term, diffuse effects of social toxins on the human
psyche. In so doing, they provide otherwise unavailable insight
into criminal behavior. Professor Falk urges the legal community
to meaningfully consider these valuable new windows into the
criminal mind, rather than fall prey to the common pitfall of
reflexive abuse excuse rhetoric.
INTRODUCTION ....................................... 733
I. THE CASES: URBAN PSYCHOSIS, TELEVISION
INTOXICATION, AND BLACK RAGE AS THEORIES OF
CRIMINAL DEFENSE ................................ 738
A.  Urban Psychosis  .............................     738
1.  Urban Psychosis  ..........................    738
2. Urban Survival Syndrome ...................     740
B.  Television Intoxication  .........................  742
1.  Television Violence  ........................  742
2. Violent Pornography .......................     746
* Assistant Professor of Law, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State
University. J.D., 1983, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Ph.D. (psychology), 1988,
University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I wish to acknowledge with gratitude the financial
support of the Cleveland-Marshall Fund. I am also grateful to my colleagues Phyllis L.
Crocker, Jack A. Guttenberg, Gregory Mark, Lloyd B. Synder, and Victor L. Streib for
their thoughtful comments on earlier drafts of this Article. Finally, I wish to thank my two
research assistants, Lisa P. Kirby and Kenneth C. Robling, for their tireless efforts.

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