Durham rule

noun

Definition of Durham rule

: a formerly used legal test under which a person was not judged responsible for a criminal act that was attributed to a mental disorder

First Known Use of Durham rule

1955, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Durham rule

Monte Durham, 20th century American litigant

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The first known use of Durham rule was in 1955

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durgan

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Durham rule

durian

duricrust

during

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Cite this Entry

“Durham rule.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Durham%20rule. Accessed 25 Jul. 2021.

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Durham rule

noun
Dur·​ham rule | \ ˈdu̇r-əm-, ˈdər- \

Legal Definition of Durham rule

: 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

History and Etymology for 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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