How did the Durham rule come about?
The Durham rule is so named because it grew from a decision in 1954 in a case called Durham v. United States. This rule generally is considered a broadening of the insanity defense as it focuses on whether the action was the result or product of a mental disease or defect.
What definition of insanity is used in most states?
A definition of insanity proposed by the American Law Institute (ALI), which states, “A person is not responsible for criminal conduct if at the time of such conduct, as a result of mental disease or defect, he lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality [wrongfulness] of his conduct or to conform …
What is the criticism of the Durham rule?
The case established a new approach in federal and some state courts, but quickly came under heavy criticism because it lacked a clear legal standard of criminal responsibility.
Why is Durham rule important?
The Durham Rule was considered a very significant advancement of the insanity defense in history because it replaced moral considerations with more unbiased scientific determinations as a result of advancements in the field of psychological research (“A Crime Of Insanity, 2012″).
What are the three standards for the insanity defense found in criminal law?
In a state that recognizes temporary insanity, the elements of the state’s insanity defense, either M’Naghten, irresistible impulse, substantial capacity, or Durham, must be present at the time the crime was committed.
Why is insanity a defense?
The insanity defense is rooted in the belief that conviction and punishment are justified only if the defendant deserves them. The basic pre-condition for punishment is that the person who committed the criminal behavior must have responsibility as a moral agent.
Is the term insanity used in the Court of law?
Terms such as “insanity” and “unsoundness of mind” are legal concepts and are used frequently in the court of law.
How does the affirmative defense of insanity work?
The affirmative defense of legal insanity applies to this fundamental principle by excusing those mentally disordered offenders whose disorder deprived them of rational understanding of their conduct at the time of the crime. Hence, it is generally admitted that incapacity to commit crimes exempts the individual from punishment.
Can a mental disorder be used to prove insanity?
This means that just suffering from a mental disorder is not sufficient to prove insanity. The defendant has the burden of proving the defense of insanity by a “preponderance of the evidence” which is similar to a civil case.
Which is the most common insanity defense in the US?
The M’Naghten insanity defense, also called the right-wrong test, is the most common insanity defense in the United States. It is also the oldest and was created in England in 1843. The defense is named after Daniel M’Naghten. M’Naghten was under the paranoid delusion that the Prime Minister of England, Sir Robert Peel, was trying to kill him.