The Trial of William Freeman: For the Murder of John G. Van Nest, Including the Evidence and the Arguments of Counsel, with the Decision of the Supreme Court Granting a New Trial, and an Account of the Death of the Prisoner, and of the Post-mortem Examination of His Body by Amariah Brigham, M. D., and Others

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Derby, Miller & Company, 1848 - Electronic book - 508 pages
Trial of the question of insanity and trial of the main issue at a Court of Oyer and Terminer for Cayuga County, held at Auburn, June-July, 1846.

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Page 465 - ... to establish a defence on the ground of insanity, it must be clearly proved that, at the time of the committing of the act, the party accused was labouring under such a defect of reason, from disease of the mind, as not to know the nature and quality of the act he was doing, or, if he did know it, that he did not know he was doing what was wrong.
Page 428 - Can a medical man conversant with the disease of insanity, who never saw the prisoner previously to the trial, but who was present during the whole trial and the examination of all the witnesses, be asked his opinion as to the state of the prisoner's mind at the time of the commission of the alleged crime? or his opinion whether the prisoner was conscious at the time of doing the act that he was acting contrary to law, or whether he was labouring under any and what delusion at the time?
Page 475 - Also if a man in his sound memory commits a capital offense, and before arraignment for it, he becomes mad, he ought not to be arraigned for it ; because he is not able to plead to it with that advice and caution that he ought.
Page 373 - In order to constitute a crime, a person must have intelligence and capacity enough to have a criminal intent and purpose; and if his reason and mental powers are either so deficient that he has no will, no conscience or controlling mental power, or if, through the overwhelming violence of mental disease, his intellectual power is for the time obliterated, he is not a responsible moral agent, and is not punishable for criminal acts.
Page 434 - To bait fish withal: if it will feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me, and hindered me half a million; laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies; and what's his reason? I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes?
Page 174 - That before a plea of insanity should be allowed, undoubted evidence ought to be adduced that the accused was of diseased mind, and that at the time he committed the act he was not conscious of right and wrong.
Page 428 - Lordships' inquiries are confined to those persons who labour under such partial delusions only, and are not in other respects insane, we are of opinion that, notwithstanding the party accused did the act complained of with a view, under the influence of insane delusion, of redressing or revenging some supposed grievance or injury, or of producing some public benefit, he is nevertheless punishable according to the nature of the crime committed, if he knew at the time of committing such crime that...
Page 429 - ... not, as we conceive, so accurate when put generally and in the abstract, as when put with reference to the party's knowledge of right and wrong in respect to the very act with which he is charged.
Page 372 - That if the prisoner was laboring under some controlling disease which was, in truth, the acting power within him which he could not resist, then he will not be responsible.
Page 482 - The mode of putting the latter part of the question to the jury on these occasions has generally been, whether the accused at the time of doing the act knew the difference between right and wrong; which mode, though rarely, if ever, leading to any mistake with the jury, is not...

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