M Naughten Defense Of Insanity

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M’Naughten Paper M’Naughten was arrested and charged with murder after he killed Edward Drummond, the secretary of the Prime Minister. He believed that he was involved in a conspiracy relating to the Pope and the British government. He traveled to London and shot a man who he believed was the Prime Minister. M’Naughten was taken into custody and the British Trial Court found M’Naughten not guilty of the offenses by reason of insanity. The House of Lords gathered to develop a set of rules known as the M 'Naughten Rules for when insanity can be used as a defense in a case. These rules consist of presumption of sanity, disease of mind, nature and quality of the act, knowledge that the act was wrong, and strict liability. This particular case…show more content…
The United States court system stated adopting the M’Naughten rule around 1851. The M’Naughten rule was established in order to limit the cases where people were just using the defense of insanity to have their sentence be reduced to a lower punishment. It was also to limit the defense of insanity to cognitive insanity. Today, many defendants try to use the defense of insanity in order for the judge to lower their sentencing. Instead of being convicted to first degree murder and given life sentence, being proven legally insane can reduce their sentence and save them from being executed. If they are proven of being insane, they are sent to a health institution to get evaluated and treated. Once the doctor says that they are ready of being released, then they are sent back to prison to serve the rest of their sentence. In order for the defendant to be proven legally insane, it must be proven that at the time of the act, the defendant had disease of the mind that it enabled him to not know the nature and quality of the act he was committing; or if he did know, he did not know what he was doing was…show more content…
One of the main arguments or criticisms are that ‘the rule does not permit complete and adequate testimony’ and that the psychiatric operating under the rule serves as a judge. These are both arguments that people have against the rule. Many people have tried to pledge that they are insane at the time of the crime. Some of them were actually aware of the crime they were committing it, but are able to fool the legal system and get away with the defense of insanity. A valid argument towards the defense of insanity is that is difficult in proving beyond the reasonable doubt that the criminal was insane during the commitment of their crimes. Is hard to go back to the moment of the crime and decide the righteous state of mind that the defendant was

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