He or she can't even be bothered to spell "M'Naghten" correctly, so why should we pay any attention?
Well, I misspelled it too. Simple spelling errors are forgivable; adopting a defiantly idiosyncratic orthography less so. But, as I mentioned before, the M'Naghten Rule is worthy of debate, regardless of the identity of the poster who initiated it. After all, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
I have never supported the M'Naughton Rule.
I do NOT believe that the court shud have taken any interest
in what was going on between M'Naughton 's ears;
what counts shud have been limited to what he DID,
in killing the Queen's Defense Minister,
regardless of his beliefs.
The courts always
take into account an accused's state of mind. It makes a difference whether a person intends to commit a crime or if that person has acted accidentally or out of ignorance. If I shoot a gun at you, intending to kill you, I can be charged with attempted murder even if the gun is not loaded. On the other hand, if I shoot a toy gun at you as part of a game, but the gun is loaded with a pellet that, through some unusual chain of events, causes your death, it is unlikely that I would be charged with murder or even manslaughter. The mere act of shooting and killing, then, does not end the legal inquiry. The court must also look at the shooter's intent.
Almost every crime contains an element of intent (mens rea
), so it makes perfect sense to inquire into the accused's state of mind and his ability to form intent. Whether or not the M'Naghten Rule is the correct standard by which to judge intent is an open question. I tend to regard it like Churchill regarded democracy: it's the worst choice, except for all the others that have been tried.