Source: Daily Picayune
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Trial of the Assassin”
City of publication: New Orleans, Louisiana
Date of publication: 22 September 1901
Volume number: 65
Issue number: 241
|“Trial of the Assassin.” Daily Picayune 22 Sept. 1901 v65n241: part 1, p. 1.|
|Leon Czolgosz (psychiatric examination); Loran L. Lewis (public statements); Leon Czolgosz (legal defense); Robert C. Titus (public statements).|
|Leon Czolgosz; Loran L. Lewis [first name misspelled below]; Carlos F. MacDonald [misspelled below]; William McKinley; Adelbert Moot; Thomas Penney [misspelled below]; Robert C. Titus; Truman C. White.|
Trial of the Assassin
Czolgosz’s Case Will Be Taken Up at Buffalo Monday.
An Expert Examines Him as to His Sanity or Insanity,
But Declines to Talk about the Result of the Investigation.
Judge Lewis and R. C. Titus Will Defend the Prisoner.
They Will Not Attempt to Delay the Murderer’s Trial,
But Will Be Ready When the Case Is Called Monday.
The Assassin Is Talking More Freely—The Plans of the Defense Kept a Secret.
Buffalo, Sept. 21.—Leon F. Czolgosz, whose trial
for the assassination of President McKinley will begin next Monday, was examined
as to his sanity or insanity for one hour this afternoon by Dr. Carlos F. McDonald,
of New York, the eminent alienist, who was for years the chairman of the state
board of lunacy commissioners. The prisoner’s counsel, former Justices Lorain
L. Lewis and Robert C. Titus, were present at different times during the examination.
At its close, Dr. McDonald declined to discuss the case, and the attorneys would
not express their opinions as to the assassin’s mental condition, although the
inference drawn from their answers was that they believed Czolgosz to be sane.
Dr. McDonald was brought to Buffalo through the efforts of President Adelbert Moot and other members of the Erie County Bar Association, for the purpose of passing upon the murderer’s sanity, as the association has promised to assist Justices Lewis and Titus.
The examination was held in the private office of District Attorney Penny, in the county court hall, and preparations for it were kept secret. When questioned as to whether the prisoner would talk to his counsel, as he had refused when Judge Lewis saw him on Tuesday before the arraignment to say a word, that venerable judge said:
“He is talking more freely, but he is not a voluble chap. He said nothing upon which we might work in basing a defense.”
At 4:35 o’clock Czolgosz was taken back to the jail. He walked more sprightly and did not have to be dragged along by the officers as heretofore. When he was being led back to the jail he chatted quite freely with one of his guards. His general appearance was more of an ordinary young man of the so-called middle class. He does not appear to be of the familiar type of anarchists, nor is he good-looking enough to attract the second glance of one meeting him.
Ten minutes after the prisoner had been taken back to his cell in the “murderers’ row,” Dr. McDonald and Judge Titus left the City Hall together. Dr. McDonald declined to say a word about the examination when questioned by an Associated Press representative. Judge Titus said that the alienist would make a further examination of the prisoner, but that the time had not been decided upon.
In answer to questions, Judge Titus said:
“The prisoner talked, but not freely. He talked considerably to District Attorney Penny and Dr. McDonald, but was not very communicative with Judge Lewis and myself. I would not care to say whether he said anything that would serve to help us in forming a base for defense.”
“Will Dr. McDonald be a witness for the defense upon the trial?” asked the Associated Press representative.
“Well, we are not calling any defense witnesses just now. We want to know exactly what he thinks before we determine that question,” was the judge’s reply.
Asked if the defense could do more than cross-examine witnesses in the event of the prisoner’s refusal to aid the attorneys, Judge Titus remarked that the prisoner had relatives and friends. He said that Czolgosz’s father was not in Buffalo, as he is a poor man and cannot afford to travel. The judge said that the prisoner had told him nothing about his friends, but that all the necessary information in regard to them was in possession of the counsel. District Attorney Penny says that he has had no intimation that the defense will not be ready to proceed with the trial on Monday morning. It will be held before Justice Truman C. White, in part III of the supreme court. Extensive preparations are being made to handle the crowds which are expected. One-third of the courtroom will be given up to the participants in the trial and the newspapermen. When the remainder of the courtroom is filled the doors will be shut and the City Hall entirely cleared.