Chapter Twenty

AuthorRichard D. Schneider
Cae Tn
,   House of Lords was presented with the
question of “where sanity ends and madness begins,” as well as what
the nature and extent of the unsoundness of mind was “which would
excuse the commission of a felony of this sort,” they determined to
seek the opinion of the judges on the law governing such cases, and on
the th of June all the judges attended their lordships and the follow-
ing questions of law were put to them for consideration:
“First, what is the law respecting alleged crimes committed by persons
aicted with insane delusion, in respect of one or more particular
subjects or persons: as, for instance, where at the time of the commis-
sion of the alleged crime, the accused knew he was acting contrary to
law, but did the act complained of with a view, under the inuence of
insane delusion, of redressing or revenging some supposed grievance
or injury, or of producing some supposed public benet?
“Second, what are the proper questions to be submitted to the jury,
when a person alleged to be aicted with insane delusion respecting
one or more particular subjects or persons, is charged with the com-
mission of a crime (murder, for example), and insanity is set up as a
“ird, in what terms ought the question to be left to the jury, as to
the prisoner’s state of mind at the time when the act was committed?
“Fourth, if a person under an insane delusion as to existing facts,
commits an oence in consequence thereof, is he thereby excused?
“Fifth, can a medical man conversant with the disease of insan-
ity, who never saw the prisoner previously to the trial, but who was
present during the whole trial and the examination of all the wit-
nesses, be asked his opinion as to the state of the prisoner’s mind

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