CRIME: Thrill Killers

If a man has a very good reason (e.g., self-defense) for killing another, the law excuses him. If he has a clear but bad reason (e.g., avarice, jealousy), the law may take his life. If he has no clear reason for his act, the prosecution as well as the killer is in trouble. This was illustrated last week in the case of the Brooklyn thrill killers.

Last summer Brooklyn police arrested four youths and accused them of tossing a man in the East River to drown, beating another man to death, torturing several others (TIME, Aug. 30). The youths had...

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