Friday, August 10, 2018
Dan Sickles and 'Murder Temporary Insanity'-- Part 1: Killed the Son of Francis Scott Key
From the July 1, 2018, Chicago Tribune "10 things you might not know about EXCUSES" by Mark Jacobson and Stephan Benzkofer.
What with Roseanne Barr's excuse for the tweet, let's go back to the Civil War and our favorite political general, Dan Sickles, who used it before the Civil War started.
"It may come as no surprise that the first person in the U.S. to successfully plead not guilty to murder because of temporary insanity was a U.S. congressman.
"In 1858, Dan Sickles, who would go on to play a notorious role for the North at Gettysburg, discovered his wife was having an affair with Philip Barton Key, the Washington, D.C., district attorney and son of Francis Scott Key.
"Purportedly in an unthinkable rage, Sickles went looking the next day for Key, found him in Lafayette Square across the street from the White House and killed him in broad daylight. Public sentiment was strong for Sickles, seeing that the murder of a wife's lover as being justified, so his chances at acquittal looked good."
And What Did He Plead? --Old Secsane