December 19, 1931


JAMA. 1931;97(25):1895-1896. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02730250053021

The issues in a case at law sometimes may turn on the ability of the judge and the jury to appraise correctly the weight to be given the testimony of a narcotic addict. Is every narcotic addict hopelessly given to fabricating fairy tales, a pathologic or inveterate liar who lies even when he has no personal end to gain by doing so? Do narcotic addicts habitually live in a world of fancy, so that no matter how much they may wish to do so they cannot observe accurately and report correctly what goes on about them? Persons to whom these problems are matters of concern, and particularly those engaged in the administration of justice, will find them lucidly, dispassionately and cogently discussed in an opinion filed by Judge Henry Clay McDowell, of the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, in Kelly v. Maryland Casualty Company,1

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