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Superstitions live long and die hard. A most singular reference to one is furnished in the case of State v. Wisdom, which was decided by the Supreme Court of Missouri, Jan, 31, 1894. This was an appeal from a conviction of murder. In the course of the examination of one of the witnesses, he was asked to tell what happened down at the morgue by the dead body, when another witness and the prisoner were there, prior to the inquest. This was objected to as immaterial, and the objection was overruled. The witness answered that they were told to put their hands on the murdered man; and that he and the other witness referred to did so, but the prisoner would not do it. An officer corroborated this statement. The prisoner objected to the latter's statement but assigned no reason. The action of the trial court in this regard
ORDEAL OF THE BIER.. JAMA. 1894;XXII(12):434-435. doi:10.1001/jama.1894.02420910032006