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Criminal Responsibility and Mental Illness.

Marcus Jacobson, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1965;12(1):107-108. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1965.01720310109020.
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Although the author is a practicing English psychiatrist who writes primarily for the English jurist and psychiatrist, this very readable volume should be of interest to their American counterparts. The basic problems afflicting this field of the relationship of criminal responsibility to mental illness are similar in the United States and Great Britain. This book is worth reading, not because it throws any new light on the problems under consideration, but rather because it outlines so clearly the logical and semantic difficulties which beset the field.

The book can be roughly divided into four parts. The first deals with the criminal responsibility of the mentally disordered before 1843, the establishment and the present use of the M'Naghten rules, and comments and criticisms of these rules. The second part deals with mens rea, determination, free will, and responsibility. The third deals with such topics as drunkeness, automatism, fitness to


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