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Modern 'trial' examines Mary Todd Lincoln's sanity

8:54 PM, Sep 24, 2012   |    comments
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Mary Todd Lincoln. Credit: AP/file.

CHICAGO (AP) - According to historical accounts, Abraham Lincoln's wife slowly went insane after his death and had to be committed to an asylum. But was Mary Todd Lincoln legally insane or just ill?

A "trial" on Lincoln's mental state dug into those questions Monday using modern legal and medical standards. An actor portrayed Mary Todd Lincoln and judges served as attorneys arguing for the two sides. Psychiatrists offered expert testimony. The verdict was not to commit Lincoln and let her remain free.

The people involved in the event say they hope it gives the audience a better sense of changes in the legal system's handling of mental illness and how medicine has evolved to treat it.

Mary Todd Lincoln was committed in 1875, 10 years after her husband's assassination.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Associated Press

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