National Affairs: 300 Years Is Not Enough

A covey of psychiatrists clustered in Oklahoma City federal court one day last week to do a job of head-candling on Missouri's droop-eyed killer, Billy Cook. But their numbers only seemed to cloud the issue at hand—whether Billy, who killed six people in cold blood on a transcontinental murder spree (TIME, Jan. 22), was sane enough to stand trial for his crimes. Three said he was, four said he was not. Confronted with such guidance, Federal Judge Stephen Chandler decided next day that Cook was sane enough to plead guilty but not sane enough to be given a death sentence. He...

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