In Need of a Fix: Reforming Criminal Law in Light of a Contemporary Understanding of Drug Addiction


This Comment challenges the assumption that actions associated with drug addiction can be easily classified as either voluntary or involuntary. As an alternative to this black-and-white distinction, this Comment advances the concept of a semi-voluntary act category to describe more accurately a drug addict’s choice to use drugs. When limited appropriately to drug addicts rather than all drug users, this category provides an avenue for a partial affirmative defense that would result in a verdict of not guilty but responsible. This verdict would more fairly treat drug addicts who commit crimes while intoxicated by reducing the stigma of a finding of guilt and by demanding that the defendant take responsibility for their drug addiction and seek effective treatment.

About the Author

Patrick Eoghan Murray is a Senior Editor for the UCLA Law Review, Volume 60, and J.D. Candidate, 2013, at UCLA School of Law.

By uclalaw