Moore was a heroin addict. He
was arrested and charged with drug possession and drug trafficking.
At trial, Moore admitted that
he was a drug addict. He argued that his drug addiction was an
overpowering compulsion which made him not responsible for his being in
possession of drugs.
Basically, Moore was arguing
a form of the insanity defense.
He claimed he had a 'disease of the mind' that made him unable to conform
his conduct to the requirements of the law.
"The common-law has
long held that the capacity to control behavior is a prerequisite for
The Trial Court convicted
Moore of drug possession and drug
trafficking. He appealed.
Moore argued that he wasn't
a drug trafficker, and that a non-trafficking addict could not be
convicted under the current drug Statutes.
The Appellate Court upheld the
The Appellate Court found
that even though a drug addiction can make a person desperate and lose
self-control, it doesn't make them lose free will, and so they are still capable of being
The Court asked whether
bank robbers should be excused of their crimes if they were really
desperate for money?
The Court found that it
would be bad public policy to excuse people from criminal culpability
because they were desperate.
In a dissent it was argued
that criminal punishment serves the goals of retribution, deterrence,
isolation, and rehabilitation. However, punishing people for being an
addict would not serve any of those goals, so what is the point?