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Trivia Question 3-8-17 You Can't Handle the truth

Discussion in 'War Between the States Trivia Game' started by Trivia Master, Mar 8, 2017.

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  1. Trivia Master

    Trivia Master The Keeper of Knowledge Forum Host

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    I was a key figure in the Lincoln Administration. A few years prior to the Civil War, I was part of the prosecutor's team in a murder trial where the defense used the insanity plea for the defendant. After giving one of the closing arguments for the prosecution, the jury deliberated and returned with a 'not guilty by reason of insanity," although the defendant was ordered to be confined in a state mental institution. Later, when I found out from the state mental institution that the defendant was truly deranged, I regretted having prosecuted him so vigorously. Who am I?

    credit: @Copperhead-mi
     

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  3. FarawayFriend

    FarawayFriend Captain Silver Patron Trivia Game Winner

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  4. GELongstreet

    GELongstreet 1st Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

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    The quintessential key figure ... it was Abraham Lincoln himself who prosecuted Isaac Wyant.
     
  5. hughes

    hughes Private

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    Eddie Stanton
     
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  6. nextcity

    nextcity Corporal Trivia Game Winner

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    Edwin Stanton
     
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  7. DBF

    DBF Corporal Trivia Game Winner

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  8. Reb

    Reb Sergeant Major Trivia Game Winner

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    I would certainly agree that this person was a key figure in the Lincoln administration. I believe the defendant in this case to be a Mr. Isaac Wyant. I believe this person to be Lincoln himself. Culled from the book..... Abraham Lincoln: A life by Michael Burlingame Murder case.JPG
     
  9. adisciu9

    adisciu9 First Sergeant Trivia Game Winner

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    John Carlisle

    Edit - There was a John Carlile who served in the U. S. House of Representatives and later the U. S. Senate during most of Lincoln's years in the White House, but that wouldn't be the same thing as being a member of the Lincoln Administration.

    I can't find any source stating that either John Carlile or anyone named John Carlisle participated in a lawsuit such as the one described in the question.

    Hoosier
     
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  10. Wallyfish

    Wallyfish Sergeant Trivia Game Winner

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  11. sarladaise

    sarladaise First Sergeant Trivia Game Winner

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    Abraham Lincoln at the 1857 murder trial of Isaac Wyant.
     
  12. Brenal

    Brenal First Sergeant Trivia Game Winner

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    The only prosecutor I can find who fits most of this profile is Francis Scott Key who prosecuted the Richard Lawrence attempt murder trial in 1835 which had the same outcome as the case in the question but of course Key was dead twenty years before the Lincoln administration. Maybe he had a partner, if he did I can't find him and there are so many lawyers in the Lincoln cabinet alone that I am reduced to guessing, could of been Chase or, Blair, Bates, Welles, Stanton, Seward et al.
    I'll guess....Seward.
     
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  13. Stony

    Stony 1st Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

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  14. hoosier

    hoosier 2nd Lieutenant Forum Host

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    Geez, another question about somebody from the Lincoln administration involved in a lawsuit where there was an insanity defense. :eek:

    I'm not even going to try answering this one.

    To tell the truth, I hope that we won't have any more questions involving insanity defenses for a while.
     
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  15. William G Hendry

    William G Hendry Corporal Trivia Game Winner

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    well this is a long shot but iam going for it 7 hours later { Wikipedia}


    John Van Buren also prosecuted the case of William Freeman, who murdered four members of the Van Nest family of Cayuga County, New York on March 12, 1846.[3] The defense, led by William H. Seward, tried to prove that Freeman was insane

    Edit - Sorry to have to mark the answer wrong after you tried so hard, but the question asked about a member of the prosecution who was also a member of the Lincoln Administration. Van Buren was never a member of the Lincoln Administration and Seward was not a member of the prosecution.

    Hoosier
     
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  16. MaryDee

    MaryDee Sergeant Major Trivia Game Winner

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    Tricky! Today's question evidently does not refer to the Daniel Sickles trial and Edwin Stanton's closing argument for the defense. First, Dirty Dan was not confined but retained his seat in Congress and was later made a major general and corps commander. Second, the person we're looking for was part of the prosecution, not the defense. Note that the verdict in Dirty Dan's case was the first use of "temporary" insanity. The "not guilty by reason of insanity" defense had been used before; especially after the M'Naughton case, a landmark case in Britain in the 1840s.

    This question would also not refer to the Wyatt and Freeman cases in 1846, both of which used the insanity defense, in which William Seward was part of the defense.

    It's amazing how many sources inaccurately cite the Sickles trial as the first use of the insanity defense in the US. The histories of the insanity defense I've found online jump from M'Naughton to the 20th century.

    No answer yet! I've been searching for almost 5 hours! I swear I've read about this case, or a similar one, at some time in the past, or I'd have already given up! Will keep looking and answer (if I can) tomorrow. Right now I'm gonna take a break and look at the giraffe cam!
     
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  17. lelliott19

    lelliott19 2nd Lieutenant Forum Host Trivia Game Winner

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    Abraham Lincoln was the prosecutor in a controversial murder case. Isaac Wyant attacked his neighbor Ason Rusk with a knife. In self-defense, Rusk shot Wyant in the arm, which had to be amputated. Later in revenge, Wyant shot Rusk to death in cold blood in 1855. Lincoln helped prosecute the case. The defense attorney claimed the novel insanity plea and won despite Lincoln's best efforts. Later, when informed by the authorities of the asylum that Wyant was truly deranged, Lincoln expressed regret for having prosecuted him so vigorously.
    https://books.google.com/books?id=o...retted prosecuting him so vigourously&f=false
     
  18. JohnW.

    JohnW. First Sergeant

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  19. amweiner

    amweiner First Sergeant Trivia Game Winner Member of the Month

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  20. JOHN42768

    JOHN42768 Sergeant Major Trivia Game Winner

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    Edwin M. Stanton later to be Secretary of War

    Edit - Answer revised in post # 21 (but, unfortunately, the revised answer wasn't correct, either).

    Hoosier
     
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  21. MaryDee

    MaryDee Sergeant Major Trivia Game Winner

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    I finally found it, after far too much searching and finally spending over an hour reading a most entertaining account of Abraham Lincoln's days as a lawyer in Illinois because it seemed to fit the search parameters. I now know why the question's topic is familiar!
    Source: https://www.knox.edu/documents/pdfs/LincolnStudies/Burlingame, Vol 1, Chap 9.pdf
    Michael Burlingame – Abraham Lincoln: A Life – Vol. 1, Chapter 9, p. 994
    I am Abraham Lincoln (certainly a key figure in the Lincoln administration!). From the above account:
    "One of the more controversial murder cases was that of Isaac Wyant, who attacked his neighbor Ason Rusk with a knife. In self-defense, Rusk shot his assailant in the arm, which was subsequently amputated. Thirsting for revenge, Wyant in 1855 shot Rusk to death in cold blood. Lincoln helped prosecute the case. . . .Leonard Swett, who defended Wyant with the novel insanity plea, won despite Lincoln’s best efforts. Later, when informed by authorities at the state insane asylum that Wyant was truly deranged, Lincoln expressed regret for having prosecuted him so vigorously."

    There's been too much about Dirty Dan Sickles lately, which is why I almost was led astray, especially because searching the insanity plea inevitably came up either with Dirty Dan's case, or jumped straight from M'naughton to John Hinkley. I finally decided to search on the last part of the question, and it worked!
     
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