The Opinion of an Expert Who Examined Czolgosz
To the Editor of the Philadelphia Medical Journal:
The trial of Czolgosz is over and
the jury has returned a verdict of guilty in the first degree. To
those familiar with the crime and the assassin, no other verdict
was expected. The trial was unusual in this respect that no possible
defence was found. The prisoner was represented by able counsel
chosen for the purpose by the Erie County Bar Association. They
engaged, by the advice of the Bar Association, the services of Dr.
C. F. McDonald, former President of the New York State Lunacy 
Commission, and Dr. Arthur W. Hurd, President of the Buffalo State
Hospital for the Insane. The people engaged the services of Dr.
Joseph Fowler, Police Surgeon, Dr. Floyd S. Crego and Dr. James
W. Putnam as experts. These five physicians examined Czolgosz at
different times, separately and together, and he talked with them,
giving his early history and life.
Briefly stated, Czolgosz is a young
man 28 years old. Former history of good health, steady habits,
not given to drink and a moderate smoker. He has been educated in
the Public Schools, being in attendance at a school until he was
15 years old. He has worked in a wire works, been a blacksmith’s
helper and worked on a farm; altogether his life has been an industrious
one. He states that his work was fully up to the average of his
fellow workmen, that he never lost a day from ill health, and that
his average earning capacity was from $1.50 to $1.75 per day. He
had saved about $400 in the last six years. He voted when he was
21 years old. At that time, having read anarchistic papers and attended
meetings of anarchists, he became converted to their principles.
He left the Roman Catholic Church in which he had been brought up
and gave his reason for doing so, “I did not believe any longer
in the things the priests told me.” He said he did not believe in
government, nor in law, nor in lawyers, nor in God, nor in marriage.
He believed that every man should take care of himself and have
no rulers. He said this was not his idea but was the idea he heard
in the anarchist meetings. He said he killed the President because
it was his duty. He said, “I am glad I done it.” When he was offered
counsel he refused it, stating he knew he was guilty, that he had
no chance, and that he did not believe in law or lawyers. When arraigned
in court he entered the plea of guilty, which, of course, was not
allowed. During the trial he sat quietly and listened to the testimony.
The case of the people was presented, being simply the testimony
of eye-witnesses of the crime, the medical testimony of the surgeons
who attended the President and the testimony of the post-mortem
examiner. The question of the prisoner’s mental condition was not
touched upon by any witness. The witnesses summoned to examine the
prisoner for the defence did not appear upon the witness stand,
therefore the experts summoned by the people did not present any
testimony. The prisoner at no time even shammed insanity. He did
not, it is true, discuss the crime with his attorneys, but he did
discuss it with others. His digestion and his sleep were normal.
He was true to his fellow anarchists in that he refused to incriminate
any of them, referring only to Emma Goldman and her lectures.
In conversation and appearance he
is more intelligent than the average Polish laborer. Physically
he presents the following conditions: Pulse 82; temperature 98½º;
tongue, clean; skin, clear; patellar reflexes, normal; pupillary
reflexes, normal; heart, normal.