The Law: Life and Death Issue

At 2:10 p.m. last Aug. 24, Ronald Salem, 34, white, stopped to purchase a package of cigarettes at a corner store in Columbia Point, a predominantly black housing project in Boston's Dorchester section. As he returned to his car he was slammed across the head with a baseball bat. Surgeons at Boston City Hospital operated in vain; two days later, tests for brain waves showed none. Salem was dead. Or was he?

That was the question Superior Court Chief Justice Walter H. McLaughlin and a Boston jury faced late last month as testimony unfolded in the trial of Siegfried Golston, an 18-year-old...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

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