The Supreme Court: No Death for Kidnapers

Congress' reaction to the 1932 kidnap-murder of Charles Lindbergh's baby son was shock, rage and a stiff law: "Whoever knowingly transports in interstate commerce any person who has been unlawfully kidnaped and held for ransom or otherwise, shall be punished by death if the kidnaped person has not been liberated unharmed and if the verdict of the jury shall so recommend." Last week, on the basis of the jury verdict last clause, the Supreme Court struck down the Lindbergh law's death-penalty provision.*

Objections to the law had been raised by attorneys for Charles ("Batman") Jackson and two...

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