Illinois: Murder or Mercy?

Murder or Mercy?

"I'm not here to hurt anyone," said Rudolfo Linares, wielding a .357-cal. pistol. "I'll only hurt you if you try to plug my baby back in." Linares, 23, and his wife Tamara had come to the Chicago hospital in the middle of the night to visit their 15-month-old son. Since swallowing an uninflated balloon and suffocating at a birthday party last August, little Samuel had been partly brain dead, kept alive by a life-support system.

Linares, a burly landscaper, held doctors, nurses and police at bay with the pistol while he unplugged his son's ventilator. Sobbing, he cradled Samuel in his...

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