Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1982

Abstract

From the moment the would-be assassin opened fire until many days after he was found not guilty by reaaon of insanity, the press was fascinated by the case. The very same day that it reported the assassination attempt "in the open street, and in the broad face of day," the Times considered but quickly dismissed the possibility of insanity: "The defndant's purpose was carried out with the most cold-blooded determination. . . . His demeanor throughout was cool and collected, nor did there appear any evidence of insanity." When, several days later, it became plain that the defendant was indeed going to rest his defense on the ground that he was insane at the time he committed the act, the Times was incredulous: "The facts, meager as they are, would seem to warrant the conclusion that whatever eccentricity there may have been in the man's behavior, there has been so much of 'method' in it - such symptoms of foresight, prudence, deliberation, and design, that it can hardly have been the conduct of a madman."


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