M'Naghten rule


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M'Naghten rule

 [mik-naw´ton]
a definition of criminal responsibility formulated in 1843 by English judges questioned by the House of Lords as a result of the acquittal of Daniel M' Naghten on grounds of insanity. It holds that “to establish a defense on the ground of insanity, it must be clearly proved that, at the time of committing the act, the party accused was laboring under such a defect of reason, from disease of the mind, as not to know the nature and quality of the act he was doing, or, if he did know it, he did not know he was doing what was wrong” and further that a defendant who “labors under partial delusions only and is not in other respects insane… must be considered in the same situation as to responsibility as if the facts with respect to which the delusion exists were real.” These rules are still used in many American jurisdictions.

M'Nagh·ten rule

(mik-naw'tĕn),
the classic English test of criminal responsibility (1843): "to establish a defense on the ground of insanity, it must be clearly proved that, at the time of committing the act, the party accused was laboring under such a defect of reasoning, from disease of the mind, as not to know the nature and quality of the act he was doing, or if he did know it, that he did not know he was doing what was wrong."

M'Nagh·ten rule

(mik-naw'tĕn rūl)
The classic English test of criminal responsibility (1843): "to establish a defense on the ground of insanity, it must be clearly proved that, at the time of committing the act, the party accused was laboring under such a defect of reasoning, from disease of the mind, as not to know the nature and quality of the act he was doing, or if he did know it, that he did not know he was doing what was wrong."

M'Naghten,

Daniel, English criminal, tried in March, 1843.
M'Naghten rule - the classic English test of criminal responsibility.
References in periodicals archive ?
122) Therefore, under the stricter M'Naghten rules, M'Naghten himself would most likely "be judged sane and legally culpable by the standards of the rules which bear his name.
181) The ALI test therefore added both a cognitive (intellectual) and volitional ("ability to choose or control") prong (182) to the test, while the M'Naghten rules only incorporated a cognitive aspect to the insanity defense test.
201) In response to the Hinckley acquittal and public outrage, Congress enacted the 1984 Insanity Defense Reform Act [IDRA] that weakened the ALI two-prong test and once again aligned the insanity defense more closely with the M'Naghten rules.
The M'Naghten rules are particularly outmoded when applied to women's issues such as postpartum psychosis.
251) Others have noted that the M'Naghten rules were developed based upon a standard that "bore little resemblance to what was known about the human mind.
While insanity defense jurisprudence and court application of the M'Naghten rules have been labeled "incoherent" when examined on a whole, (257) they are particularly inconsistent when applied to postpartum psychosis cases.
260) The narrow and antiquated M'Naghten rules have had particular complications on the use of postpartum psychosis as a defense to infanticide.
FAILING THE FEMALE OFFENDER: MAINTAINING THE M'NAGHTEN RULES
See infra notes 104-26 and accompanying text, for a detailed discussion of the M'Naghten rules.
29) Since most states reverted back to a version of the M'Naghten rules after the Hinckley acquittal in 1982, various state reports have noted the detriment of constructing a narrower defense.