Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mock Trial of Mary Todd Lincoln Rules in Favor of Lincoln

Court FightA group of modern-day judges, jury members, and attorneys re-enacted the insanity trial of Mary Todd Lincoln. The modern-day mock trial determined that Lincoln should not be declared a "lunatic." At her original trial, the former first lady was declared a "lunatic" after her son, Robert Lincoln, that his mother was insane. Upon this determination, she was sent to Belleuvue Sanitarium in Batavia. Thankfully, the former first lady was able to obtain an early release after her friend Myra Bradwell helped her. In a second trial, Ms. Lincoln was declared "sane" and she re-obtained the right to control her assets. According to Beacon News, who reported on this incident, "historians disagree whether the evidence against the first lady was trumped up, whether the procedures used constituted due process, and what would occur if today’s modernized health laws were applied to the same facts."

See Stephanie Lulay, Retrial Rules: No Sanitorium Needed for Mary Todd Lincoln, The Beacon-News, Sept. 24, 2012.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this blog to my attention.


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