Defendant, a physician, was accused of the murder of his cancer-ridden patient by the injection of 40 c.c. of air into a vein of the patient's arm shortly before her death. The defendant had noted on the patient's medical chart the fact of the injection and that of her death, apparently a few minutes later. He subsequently dictated the same facts to his nurse, and later made similar admissions to local enforcement authorities and others making such statements on the day of his arrest and immediately thereafter. At the trial, a pathologist, called as an expert witness on behalf of the defense, testified that death was caused by factors other than the air injection, namely, some one or more diseases. The defense attorney argued that the prosecution had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the patient was still living when defendant injected the air, that he had any motive or intent to kill her, that he had actually reached a vein, that he injected a lethal dose, that the vein was "open" to the heart, that an embolus was formed, or that air embolism was the cause of death. Upon a verdict of the defendant's innocence, held, acquitted, no causal relationship having been proved between the air injection by the defendant and the death of the patient. State v. Sander, (N.H.1950), N.Y. TIMES, March 10, 1950, p. 1:6.
CRIMINAL LAW-PROOF OF THE CORPUS DELICTI BY THE USE OF EXTRA-JUDICIAL CONFESSIONS,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol48/iss8/16