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Gen def. may be used for any crime, even a summary off.

If successfully pleaded, may be acquitted

Common law, ruled by the M'Naughton rules

M'Naughton 1843

Pub. & media outcry when D acquitted of murder of Sir Robert Peel's secretary

Med ev. certified him med. insane

HL asked…

Page 2

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D suffered due to this, from moment of temporary loss of consciousness

During one of these, hit his wife w/a hammer, causing serious injury

Charged w/S20 GBH

During his trial, qu. if his cond. came w/in insanity guidelines

Admitted suffered from a defect of reasoning

Said no due to a…

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CA qu. con; cause of automatic state was not diabetes but insulin and as is an external factor, qu. of
automatism should have been left to the jury

Hennessey 1989

D had a hyperglycemic attack & charged w/sex off.

D hadn't taken his drugs in 3 days & didn't remember…

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Social stigma - hard to rid one of the term `insane'

Language archaic - v. un PC esp. in current climate & still known as the `special verdict'

Inconsistent - Quick (internal factor, diabetes) vs. Hennessey (external factor, diabetes)

Unfair/absurd - diff. forms of diabetes produce diff. results…


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