Transactions of the Society of Alumni of Bellevue Hospital

9780217645744: Transactions of the Society of Alumni of Bellevue Hospital

This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1899. Excerpt: ... formed on the opposite side of the brain in the ventricle. Paper. THE SHELDON MURDER TRIAL. A REVIEW OF THE MEDICAL EVIDENCE RELATING TO PISTOL-SHOT WOUNDS OF THE HEAD. By CHARLES PHELPS, M. D. The recent sudden ending of a somewhat noted criminal case by the suicide of the accused person permits the publication of this review, written after a decision of the court of appeals had directed a retrial in the inferior court. The man had been convicted of murder and sentenced to death upon evidence founded in great part upon an observation of pistol shots made upon the cadaver, and upon the results of similar experiments in which various vegetable fabrics were substituted for the human tissues. This evidence challenges critical examination as to its pertinency and sufficiency, not only from its importance in this particular case, but, if accepted without question, in view of its effect as an established precedent. The story of the tragedy is not romantic and the actors in it were plain people. A farmer returning from a visit to a neighboring village found his wife lying dead upon the pantry floor, and near by the pistol with which she had been shot through the head. An inquest was held, a post-mortem examination of the body made, a verdict of suicide rendered; and until after her burial no doubt was expressed that she had died by her own hand. Nineteen days later, by the procurement of her family, the body was exhumed and subjected to reexamination. The husband was then formally accused of her murder. It seems to have been practically conceded that she was alone in the house from the time of his departure to the village till his return, an interval of less than three hours, and that her death occurred immediately prior to that departure by his act, or during t...

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