Durham Test – holds that a defendant is not criminally responsible for an act that was the product of mental disease or defect

     This page is continued from Criminal Law Self-Help >>>> Types of Pleas and Pleadings >>>> Types of Pleas (criminal law) >>>> Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity >>>> Insanity:

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Durham rule:
(1954)

1. Criminal law. A test for the insanity defense, holding that a defendant is not criminally responsible for an act that was the product of mental disease or defect. (Durham v. U.S., 214 F .2d 862 (D.C. Cir. 1954)).  *  Formerly used in New Ha mpshire and the District of Columbia, the Durham rule has been criticized as being too broad and is no longer accepted in any American jurisdiction. — aka product test. [1]

1. A test for establishing insanity for the purpose of a defense to criminal prosecution, in some jurisdictions.  Under this test, a defendant’s criminal responsibility is determined on the bases of whether his unlawful act was the result or “product” of “mental disease or mental defect.”  The Durham defense is similar to the irresistible impulse defense. [3]

Durham Test – A test of insanity constituting a defense in a criminal case, otherwise known as the “product test,” which determines criminal responsibility on whether the unlawful act was the product of “mental disease or mental defect.” 21 Am J2d Crim L § 39.
     See mental disease or mental defect. [2]

mental disease – A disease affecting the mind.  For the purposes of a Durham or product test in determining criminal responsibility, a condition which is considered capable of either improving or deteriorating. Durham v United States, 94 App DC 228, 214 F2d 862, 45 ALR2d 1430. [2]

1. A disease affecting the mind.  For purposes of the Durham rule of criminal responsibility, a condition that caused the criminal act for which the defendant is being tried. [3]

mental defect – a defect in the mind of a person.  For the purposes of the Durham or product test of criminal responsibility, a condition which is not considered capable of either improving or deteriorating, and which may be either congenital, the result of injury, or the residual effect of a physical or mental disease. Durham v United States, 94 App DC 228, 214 F2d 862, 45 ALR2d 1430. [2]

1. A defect in the mind of a person.  For purposes of the Durham rule of criminal responsibility, a condition that caused the criminal act for which the defendant is being tried. [3]

References:

Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is compiled in accordance with Fair Use.

[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition
 by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[3]:  Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition
by Jack Ballantine 
(James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.

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