Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

M’Naghten Rule

  • Nathalie DeFabriqueEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_839


M’Naghten test


Historically, insanity was not considered a defense, but was a way to be acquitted from a crime as a result of a mental illness. The test was named after Daniel M’Naghten, a British man who was a defendant in a murder case in 1843. He was acquitted due to being found insane. The M’Naghten test or M’Naghten rule states that a person may be insane if at the time of committing the crime, the accused person was under the effect of mental illness and did not know the nature or quality of the act he was doing. If the person accused did know what he was doing, the M’Naghten test assesses whether the person knows what he did was wrong.


References and Readings

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cook County Department of CorrectionsChicagoUSA