Foreign News: Status of Mind

At 4 a.m. U.S. Marine Pfc. Adolph W. Merten took a blurry look at the barroom quintet and decided he saw four Japanese Communists all set to kill an American Army sergeant. Merten, a Korea veteran subject to "Bolshephobia" (i.e., seeing Red) when liquored up, fired five wavering revolver shots. Shiro Takawa, 19, no Communist but simply another patron in the Yokosuka bar, fell dying. When Merten went to trial before a Japanese court last week for manslaughter, his Japanese lawyer pulled out Article 39 of the Japanese criminal code, which holds that "an act by a person of unsound mind...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!