◦Daniel M'Naughton shoots Edmund Drummond (private secretary to the Prime Minister)
from behind when he was walking
◦Drummond dies from his wounds 4 days.
◦Drummond had made his way home after this, did not seem very wounded, doctor came to
visit and predicted a full recovery. Then the next morning he had issues breathing.
Discovered his rib was shattered and became infected after doing a second examination.
◦Shooter immediately arrested. Refused to answer questions. When he was searched they
found a bank book of Daniel M'Naughton. They went back to the apartment and found
percussion caps (part of assembling a gun).
◦Some claim to have seem Daniel loitering around the crime scene area.
◦He had a very cool and collective demeanor (how could he be insane then?). What was his
reasoning for doing so?
◦He stated “He will not destroy my peace of mind any longer”
◦Daniel made one statement in terms of his motives (1813-1865)
▪“The Tories in my native city have compelled me to do this. They followed me to
France, into Scotland, and all over England. In fact, they follow me wherever I
go...They accused me of crimes of which I am not guilty; they do everything in their
power to harass and prosecute me. In fact they wish to murder me”
▪When they asked who he shot he named a different identity. This could be a sign of
mental illness but to the courts it was mistaken identity.
➔Trial took place in March (The Prosecution Approach)
◦Did he know he was making a violation when he shot the gun? Do you believe he did not
know right from wrong?
◦Evidence → calling in witnesses to show if he was insane
◦The Prosecution stated that they had portrayed M'Naughton as perfectly sane
◦Defendant had shock trauma
◦Concentrated on Daniel's state of mind at the time of the offense
➔Defense attorney Alexander Cockburn
◦Madness is a disease of the body
◦Agreed that Daniel did shoot
◦We need to understand the mental state of Daniel's mind at the time to show he was to
committed the offense
◦This understanding must be based on modern medical science
◦It is stated that the brain consists of two parts. One part is disease and the other is healthy.
◦The fact that he was able to plan and carry out his crime works against saying he is insane
◦Then they called character witnesses who brought a new light to the case –he was gloomy,
more miserable, that he would break out in fits of laughter for no reason, that he felt he was
being followed at night, felt he was being prosecuted by police, Jewish people, Catholics
◦Called on medical witnesses (psychiatrists) who talked to Daniel. Minroe was the
◦Prosecutors were after justice not a guilty verdict **
◦Declared him not guilty on the ground of insanity.
◦Jury very liberally interpreted the law of insanity. Mental illness limited to political aspects
was not enough.
◦You need to be like a wild beast to be considered insane. Daniel was not a wild beast per se.