The Law: The Credible Psychopath

When Gunman Dana Nash was tried in 1962 for killing a Chicago union official, the key witness against him was his nephew, William Triplett, who had helped him commit the murder. Nash knew that a prison psychiatrist had once diagnosed his nephew as "a true psychopath." To impeach Triplett's credibility, Nash asked the trial judge to order a psychiatric examination. The judge refused. After Nash received a sentence of 99 to 150 years, he appealed on the ground, among others, of this alleged error. By definition, he argued, a psychopath is a liar and "unworthy of belief."

Not so, the Illinois Supreme...

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