TRIALS: Not Guilty

"No matter how pure or kindly the motive," Connecticut Judge John A. Cornell instructed the jury, "the law does not justify one person's taking the life of another to save that other from suffering . . . even if the killing be done at the request of the person killed." In short, said the judge, there is no such thing as legal mercy killing.

He did not, however, rule out the possibility that the killer might have been made mentally unbalanced by the signs of such suffering. Five hours later, the jury of nine women and three men—all of them parents—announced...

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