The Durham rule was adopted by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in the 1954 case of Durham v. United States as a test for deciding whether a criminal defendant is not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI). In announcing the Durham rule, the D.C. Circuit explicitly acknowledged that it was departing from traditional tests for criminal responsibility by holding that a defendant could not be held criminally responsible if his or her unlawful conduct was the “product of mental disease or mental defect.” This formulation of the insanity defense is sometimes referred to as the “product test” or the “product defect” test and is an alternative to the “cognitive test” and the “volitional test” that are often used, sometimes ...

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