Source: Journal of Mental Science
Source type: journal
Document type: editorial
Document title: “Czolgosz”
Date of publication: April 1902
Volume number: 48
Issue number: 165
Series: new series
|“Czolgosz.” Journal of Mental Science Apr. 1902 v48n165 (new series): p. 336.
|Leon Czolgosz (mental health).
|Walter Channing; Leon Czolgosz; William McKinley.
Czolgosz, the cacophonously-named
murderer of President McKinley, is still the subject of discussion in the United
States, the question having been raised whether he was not insane rather than
Expert testimony was excluded from the trial, with the result that both the medical and lay mind is in ignorance of the grounds and methods of inquiry on which the opinion of Czolgosz’s responsibility was arrived at.
The examination lasted three weeks, and was assisted by a very full statement of premeditation by the assassin. How far reliable evidence of his past life was obtained is not publicly known, but only strong evidence of previous insanity and insane conduct could shake the conclusion arrived at. If such evidence existed it should certainly have been produced before the trial. Dr. Channing, of Boston, believes that he has evidence of a distinct history of insanity in Czolgosz, and there will probably be much future debate on this question.
That an insane person should have been executed as a criminal would be regrettable, and also that he should be ranked as an anarchist, for although anarchism is a strong presumption of insanity, the converse is fortunately not true.