If you ask the man on the street about his views on the criminal law, typically his response will include a commentary on some notorious crime. What impresses him most about that crime? Commonly his answer will be that he was amazed that the "murderer" was able to escape conviction by invoking the defense of insanity. This view is remarkably prevalent. It is the same view which led Queen Victoria to ask Parliament to formulate the rigid M'Naghten Rule in 1843. This test of insanity survives to the present day, perplexing many members of the legal profession and alienating most members of the psychiatric profession
Martin, Leslie J.
"Book Review: The Role of Psychiatry in Law,"
Akron Law Review: Vol. 2
, Article 6.
Available at: http://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/akronlawreview/vol2/iss2/6