Daniel M'Naghten

Standard Name: M'Naghten, Daniel


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20 January 1843
Daniel M'Naghten shot and mortally wounded the private secretary of Sir Robert Peel , the Prime Minister: his trial for murder changed British legislation on pleas of insanity.
After March 1843
Following a controversial trial, judges for the House of Lords formalized the M'Naghten Rules, aimed at regularizing legal procedure for prosecuting defendants showing no criminal intent by virtue of defect of reason.
3 March 1843
The trial opened of Daniel M'Naghten for the murder of Sir Robert Peel 's private secretary; his counsel pleaded insanity and consequent lack of self-control.
Early 1843 to 1907
In the seventy-three years following the establishment of the M'Naghten Rules, the number of accused murderers acquitted by the insanity plea, or found unfit to plead, rose from 10% of all cases to 31%.