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JAMA 100 Years Ago
March 15, 2000

Drug Insanity Still Defense.

Author Affiliations

JenniferReiling, Editorial Assistant

JAMA. 2000;283(11):1393. doi:10.1001/jama.283.11.1393

By article 41 of the Penal Code of Texas, neither intoxication, nor temporary insanity of mind, produced by the voluntary recent use of ardent spirits, shall constitute any excuse for the commission of crime; but evidence of temporary insanity produced by such use of ardent spirits may be introduced by the defendant in any criminal prosecution in mitigation of the penalty attached to the offense for which he is being tried, and in cases of murder, for the purpose of determining the degree of murder of which the defendant may be guilty. Before that provision was passed, the courts held that such insanity excused unlawful acts. And the court of Criminal Appeals of Texas now holds, on the second appeal of Edwards vs. State, that until the legislature makes a similar express exception of insanity produced by the recent use of cocain and morphin from the defenses which one accused of crime is authorized to make, a discrimination must be made between insanity produced by voluntary recent use of such drugs and that from such use of intoxicating liquors, and that the former still remains a defense.

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