"The Matrix Defense" is a legal defense used by some to say they were in a digital world

"The Matrix Defense" is a legal defense used by some to say they were in a digital world

The Matrix defense is the term applied to several legal cases of a defense based on the Matrix films where reality is actually a computer generation—simulism—and that the real world is quite different from what reality is perceived to be.In using this defense, the defendant claims that he committed a crime because he believed he was in the Matrix, and not in the real world. This is a version of the insanity defense and considered a descendant of the Taxi Driver defense of John Hinckley, one of the first defenses based on blurring reality with the movies.[1] Regardless of whether the defendant actually believes that he or she was living inside the Matrix, this defense has been used successfully to put users inside of mental-care facilities instead of prisons: Tonda Lynn Ansley of Hamilton, Ohio, was found not guilty by reason of insanity using this defense after shooting her landlady in the head in July 2002.[2]

Vadim Mieseges of San Francisco offered a "Matrix" explanation to police after chopping up his landlady, and was declared mentally incompetent to stand trial.[2]

Joshua Cooke's lawyers were going to attempt this defense in 2003 in his trial for the murder of his adoptive parents, before he pleaded guilty.[2]

The case of Lee Malvo also included references to The Matrix, mentioned in the writings taken from his jail cell; he reportedly shouted "Free yourself from the Matrix" from his cell after his arrest, and told FBI agents to watch the film if they wanted to understand him.[2][3][4]