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Durham Rule

noun

Definition of Durham Rule

  1. :  a legal hypothesis under which a person is not judged responsible for a criminal act that is attributed to a mental disease or defect



Origin of durham rule

Monte Durham, 20th century American litigant


First Known Use: 1955


Law Dictionary

Durham rule

noun Dur·ham rule \ˈdu̇r-əm-, ˈdər-\

Legal Definition of Durham rule

  1. :  a rule of criminal law used in some states that holds that in order to find a defendant not guilty by reason of insanity the defendant's criminal act must be the product of a mental disease or defect — compare irresistible impulse test, m'naghten test, substantial capacity test



Origin of durham rule

from Durham v. United States, 214 F.2d 862 (1954), a case heard by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals that established the rule


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