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an American test of criminal responsibility (1954) under which an accused person (first applied to Monte Durham, the defendant in the case) is not held criminally responsible if the unlawful act was the product of mental disease or mental defect.
Dur·ham rule(dūr'ăm rūl)
A U.S. test of criminal responsibility (1954): "an accused is not criminally responsible if his unlawful act was the product of mental disease or mental defect."
Durham rule (of criminal responsibility)(dur'am, dur') [From Durham v. United States (1954)] See: rule
Durham rule (of criminal responsibility)
A legal decision from Durham v. United States that limits the culpability of those with psychological or neurological diseases who have committed criminal acts. It states that an unlawful act is not a criminal act if it was committed by someone mentally ill, e.g., psychotic at the time, or was committed by someone with profound neurological disease, e.g., with severe dementia or organic brain injury.
See also: rule