Chapter Four

AuthorRichard D. Schneider
Cae Fr
   made his way to London to be with his
brother, the man being held for shooting him was making his rst ap-
pearance before the court. e Times reported that “[i]t having become
known that the person charged with attempting the life of Mr. Ed-
ward Drummond would be examined at Bow Street on Saturday mor-
ning, the court, as soon as the doors were thrown open, was densely
thronged by persons anxious to hear the proceedings.”
After disposing of other business before the court, a Magistrate
Hall, who was hearing the case, had Daniel M’Naughten brought in
and placed before the bar. “He was a young man,” according to e
Times (M’Naughten was then thirty), “rather above middle height,
having the appearances of a mechanic, and was respectably dressed
in a black coat and waistcoat and drab trousers. He was rather thin,
had good colour and his countenance betokened nothing ferocious or
It is remarkable by today’s standards that M’Naughten was brought
before a court and arraigned (his case given a preliminary inquiry)
within two days of his alleged oence. Nowadays a preliminary in-
quiry, or a grand jury if such is the case (mainly in American juris-
dictions), upon hearing the evidence of the Crown, would conclude
that there was prima facie evidence to support the charge and then
issue a “true bill” (had the evidence not supported the charge, the jury
would have declared “no bill”). As well, a preliminary inquiry is usually
not held for a number of months after arrest, so that a determination
can be made as to whether or not there is enough evidence to put an
accused on trial. e defence is rst supplied with the Crown “dis-
closure,” which consists of a synopsis of allegations, statements of wit-
nesses, police notes, and any other evidence to be relied upon at trial.

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