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Article
March 3, 1894

CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF PERSONS CHARGED WITH INSANITY.

JAMA. 1894;XXII(9):318. doi:10.1001/jama.1894.02420880034008

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Abstract

Attention has already several times been called, through the columns of the Journal, to the fact that the Supreme Court of Minnesota has held to be unconstitutional certain sections of that State's insanity law enacted in 1893. There is, however, a very important principle involved in this decision which merits further notice, as being of universal application.

Every one has either known, or read, of cases where the greatest wrongs have been, intentionally or unintentionally, perpetrated, by the unscrupulous and wickedly designing, or criminally indifferent, upon persons charged with insanity. History is full of instances where it would seem as if any person was perfectly defenseless against the most manifestly trumped-up charges of insanity.

This Minnesota case, of State v. Billings, better known as the " Blaisdell not one of this sort, but it furnishes the opportunity for the court to declare that, while the State should take charge of such

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