M'Naghten rule

(redirected from M'Naghten Rules)
Also found in: Legal, Wikipedia.

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 ?
In 1962, the American Law Institute published the Model Penal Code, which combined the strictly cognitive M'Naghten rules and the irresistible impulse test.
Montana, Utah and Idaho abolished the insanity defense altogether; other states adopted the more stringent M'Naghten rules over the Model Penal Code definition of insanity; several states shifted the burden of proof from the prosecution to the defense; and 14 states offered an alternative to NGRI, which is the guilty but mentally ill verdict.
Clark argued that the full M'Naghten rule was the minimum test
16) Not only did the M'Naghten Rules inspire debate between and within the legal and medical professions, but they fell far short of eliminating public doubt about the legitimacy of the insanity acquittal.
Was it a case of juries inflexibly adhering to the M'Naghten Rules when dealing with male defendants, and assessing female defendants more subjectively?
However, many women acquitted on ground of insanity knew both that they had committed a crime and that it was wrong, as demonstrated by their immediate confessions to family, friends and the police, and this points to the fact that, while the medical and legal professions wrestled one another for authority over the insanity acquittal, many juries essentially ignored the M'Naghten Rules in order to grant insanity acquittals to deserving female defendants who did not meet the rules' criteria.
The fact that juries were often flexible when they interpreted and applied the M'Naghten Rules, at least when dealing with female defendants, did not mean that they granted insanity acquittals to female defendants indiscriminately, and the relatively low incidence of the plea combined with women's high success rate suggests that an insanity acquittal was sought only when the defendant or her lawyer felt reasonably confident that the plea would succeed.
Except for the fact that she had murdered a child, nothing about her case met the requirements of the commonsense criterion or the M'Naghten Rules.
117) The M'Naghten rules require that an individual must clearly prove that "at the time of the committing of the act," he or she was "labouring under such a defect of reason, from disease of the mind, as not to know the nature and quality of the act" he or she was committing, and if he or she was aware, he or she "did not know" that the act was wrong.
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.