1920s Insanity Pleas

Only eight people between 1920 and 1929 received Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity verdicts 1)“Homicide In Chicago 1870-1930.” Homicide in Chicago 1870-1930 :: Homicide In Chicago 1870-1930. Accessed November 08, 2017. http://homicide.northwestern.edu/.. The graph below visualizes the genders and races of those who received these verdicts with the overwhelming majority of them being white men 2)“Homicide In Chicago 1870-1930.” Homicide in Chicago 1870-1930 :: Homicide In Chicago 1870-1930. Accessed November 08, 2017. http://homicide.northwestern.edu/..

The women who received these verdicts killed men, one of them their spouse and one not. The men, though, had many different reasons for committing their crimes, mostly murder. These murders stem from full on fights to disputes about property/money etc.3)“Homicide In Chicago 1870-1930.” Homicide in Chicago 1870-1930 :: Homicide In Chicago 1870-1930. Accessed November 08, 2017. http://homicide.northwestern.edu/. Most of the men in this 10 year period killed someone they had no familial relationship to.

Those who received these pleas just entered an insane asylum where their family members would push to have them released within a year or so if they had the support. Even today, the number of men in any crime statistic is more than the number of women. It is the same when researchers look at mental illness as well 4)Prior, Pauline M. “Murder and Madness: Gender and the Insanity Defense in Nineteenth-century Ireland.” New hibernia review = Iris eireannach nua. 2005. Accessed December 12, 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1472557/.. Those who successfully were acquitted due to insanity escaped execution and in Dundrum, an insane asylum in Ireland in business around the same time Leopold and Loeb were tried, were a majority among their patients 5)Prior, Pauline M. “Murder and Madness: Gender and the Insanity Defense in Nineteenth-century Ireland.” New hibernia review = Iris eireannach nua. 2005. Accessed December 12, 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1472557/..

With their intelligence of the system, Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb were attempting to only be sent to an asylum where their family could assist in their release in a few months or up to a year later. Their parents pushed for them to be spared from the death penalty and even after they were jailed, were still a support unit for them.6)Hannon, Michael. “Leopold and Loeb Case (1924).” University of Minnesota Law Library. Accessed September 15, 2017. http://moses.law.umn.edu/darrow/trialpdfs/LEOPOLD_LOEB.pdf.

References   [ + ]

1, 2, 3. “Homicide In Chicago 1870-1930.” Homicide in Chicago 1870-1930 :: Homicide In Chicago 1870-1930. Accessed November 08, 2017. http://homicide.northwestern.edu/.
4, 5. Prior, Pauline M. “Murder and Madness: Gender and the Insanity Defense in Nineteenth-century Ireland.” New hibernia review = Iris eireannach nua. 2005. Accessed December 12, 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1472557/.
6. Hannon, Michael. “Leopold and Loeb Case (1924).” University of Minnesota Law Library. Accessed September 15, 2017. http://moses.law.umn.edu/darrow/trialpdfs/LEOPOLD_LOEB.pdf.