21 Jun, 2021 05:57 PM

What is the "twinkie defense"?

I've heard the phrase, but don't understand what it means. Who coined it? Is it legit? Please include links!

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EL
21 Jun, 2021 05:58 PM

In stories covering the trial, satirist Paul Krassner had played up the angle of the Twinkie, and he would later claim credit for coining the term "Twinkie defense". The day after the verdict, columnist Herb Caen wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle about the police support for White (a former policeman himself) and their "dislike of homosexuals" and mentioned "the Twinkie insanity defense" in passing. News stories published after the trial, however, frequently reported the defense arguments inaccurately, claiming that the defense had presented junk food as the cause of White's depression and/or diminished capacity, instead of symptomatic of and perhaps exacerbating an existing depression.

As a result of the White case, diminished capacity was abolished in 1982 by Proposition 8 and the California legislature, and replaced by "diminished actuality", referring not to the capacity to have a specific intent but to whether a defendant actually had a required intent to commit the crime with which he was charged. Additionally, California's statutory definitions of premeditation and malice required for murder were eliminated by the state's legislature, with a return to common law definitions. By this time, the "Twinkie defense" had become such a common referent that one lawmaker had waved a Twinkie in the air while making his point during a debate.

ET
21 Jun, 2021 05:58 PM



The Story of the twinkie defense is thus:

In 1978, Dan White, a former San Francisco city supervisor who had recently resigned his position, entered San Francisco City Hall through a basement window, went upstairs, and shot and killed Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk.

Psychiatrist Martin Blinder testified in court that White had been depressed, which led to eating junk food: Twinkies and Coca-Cola. This further deepened White's depression, since he was an ex-athlete and knew that the food was not good for him. This was evidence of his depression that prompted his murder spree. This celebrated diagnosis became known as the "Twinkie defense."

AL
21 Jun, 2021 05:59 PM

So basically, Dan White was a San Francisco city superisor who had recently resigned for reasons unknown. A few weeks later, he entered San Francisco city hall through a basement window, and shot and killed the mayor, Georgia Moscone, and his supervisor Harvey Milk. 

During the trial, his lawyer had a psychologist come in and reinforce the fact that he was not guilty by saying that Dan had been depressed for a long time, and he ate junk food to make himself feel better. Mainly Coca Cola and Twinkies. Since he had been an ex athlete on a rigorous training schedule and a very strict diet, he knew that the extra crap wasn't good for him. This only made his depression worse, and he kind of... snapped because of the Twinkies, and went on a killing spree. 

Basically, when someone says that something is/is like a twinkie defense, it pretty much means that they're BSing an excuse.






OL
21 Jun, 2021 05:59 PM


The phrase "Twinkie defense" comes from Twinkies, a junk food product high in sugar.

the label of "Twinkie defense" implies that the specific biological factor is one that most people would view as not being sufficient to account for criminal activity, such as the effects of allergies, minor stimulants such as coffee and nicotine, sugar, and/or vitamins.

The expression derives from the 1979 trial of Dan White, a former San Francisco, California (U.S.) Supervisor who assassinated Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk on November 27, 1978. At the trial, noted psychiatrist Martin Blinder testified that White had been depressed at the time of the crime, and pointed to several factors indicating White's depression: He had quit his job, he shunned his wife, and become slovenly in appearance. Normally a fitness fanatic and health food advocate, White had also been consuming Twinkies and Coca-Cola

DA
21 Jun, 2021 05:59 PM

The Story of the twinkie defense is thus:

In 1978, Dan White, a former San Francisco city supervisor who had recently resigned his position, entered San Francisco City Hall through a basement window, went upstairs, and shot and killed Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk.

Psychiatrist Martin Blinder testified in court that White had been depressed, which led to eating junk food: Twinkies and Coca-Cola. This further deepened White's depression, since he was an ex-athlete and knew that the food was not good for him. This was evidence of his depression that prompted his murder spree. This celebrated diagnosis became known as the "Twinkie defense."

(Taken from www.ohnonews.com)





LU
21 Jun, 2021 06:00 PM

It is an excuse for breaking a diet and eating junk food, such as Twinkies. For example, you could say, "I thought about Global Warming and it made me really sad, so I had to eat a Twinkie to cheer myself up."


MA
21 Jun, 2021 06:00 PM

Maybe that event was “before your time” but it wasn’t before mine. The feeling then was that Dan White got a light sentence because he “only” killed a “fag” (Harvey Milk was openly gay) and the judge and jury were just looking for an excuse to cut Milk a break. The “Twinkie defense” was that excuse.



AI
21 Jun, 2021 06:00 PM

Me and My Dad moved into San Fransisco the night of the murder, I did not know what the hell was going on it was utter chaos because all the gays rioted...but here is the story Dan White hated gay people, and the mayor at that time favored them and dan white was infuriated when he was forced to work with a gay man, later in that year Dan white was fired... and replaced with Harvey Milk a gay man, Dan White came to city hall one night and shot the mayor and harvey in the face, he ran to the basement, and snuck out the windows that lay parrallel to the garden(Those windows now contain bars over them) he escaped and was later caught. The Gays of San Fran went insane, Rioting, protesting and such because the mayor majorly supported gays, and there are a lot of them in San Fran, Later White was caught and tried and he used the twinkie defense (saying that he was depressed and that caused him to eat twinkies and more junk food. he is an ex athlete and this would in turn make him more depressed causing him to kill these people he was found innocent and years later white hung himself in his garage unable to take the criticism from the gay community and the guilt.