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March 20, 1897


JAMA. 1897;XXVIII(12):562-563. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440120036009

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About two years ago, there was tried in the State of Kansas a case that excited considerable general interest through the country, inasmuch as it was one of the first in which the plea of hypnotic influence had been employed by the prosecution in the criminal courts. The result made it still more notable; instead of the plea being ruled out by the court, it was employed with such effect that the prisoner was convicted and sentenced to death for "suggesting murder," while the actual homicide, whose trial came later, was acquitted. It is said that the frequently repeated assertion of the prosecuting attorney that " this big man, Anderson Gray, had a hypnotic influence over this little boy," frequently repeated, though with no more basis of truth than any other possible invention of an unscrupulous lawyer, had such an effect as to carry away the imagination of the jurymen and

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