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LAW CASES BEARING UPON INSANITY
Am J Psychiatry 1856;13:74-81.
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This distinction between delirium tremena and temporary madness, induced by intoxication, is laid down in The United States vs. Drew, 5 Mason, 28; and (in England) in John Burroughs's case, 1 Lewin, C. C., 75. In the latter case, Holroyd, J., said,—" Drunkenness is not insanity, nor does it answer to what is termed an unsound mind, unless the derangement which it causes becomes fixed and continued by the drunkenness being habitual, and thereby rendering the party incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong." That mere drunkenness is no excuse for crime is very clearly settled by many decisions both in this country and in England. Cornwell vs. The State, Mart. & Y., 147, 149; Burnet vs. The State, 133, ib.; The State vs. Turner, 1 Wright's Ohio, 30; The State vs. Thompson, ib., 617; Schaller vs. The State, 14 Missouri, 502; The State vs. John, 8 Ired., 330; Pirtle vs. The State, 9 Humph., 663; Kelly vs. The State, 3 Smedes and M., 518; The United States vs. Clarke, 2 Cranch, C.C.R., 158. But though drunkenness is not of itself a complete defense to crime, as insanity is, yet it may be admissible to the jury as evidence of the intent, in certain cases, with which the act was done. Thus in Pigman vs. The State, 14 Ohio, 555, it was held, on an indictment for passing counterfeit money, knowing it to be counterfeit, that the drunkenness of the prisoner at the time of passing was proper for the consideration of the jury in determining whether he knew the bill to be counterfeit. See also, The State vs. McCante, 1 Spears, 389; Pennsylvania vs. Fall, Addison, 257; Swan vs. The State, 4 Humph., 136; Pirtle vs. The State, 9, ib., 570; Haile vs. The State, 11, ib., 154.— Law Magazine.

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