Retrial of Mary Lincoln - Chicago, September 24, 2012


The first of two retrials concerning the involuntary commitment of Mary Lincoln occurred in Chicago on September 24. A crowd of nearly 600 people filled the Murphy Auditorium. After welcoming remarks by Justice Anne Burke and Justice Rita Garman, Bill Kurtis informed the audience of the differences between an 1875 and a 2012 commitment hearing. Judge Maureen Connors presided, and Judge Warren Wolfson and Judge Erika Reddick represented Robert Lincoln, the petitioner; while Judge Lorna Propes and Judge Mark Drummond represented Mary Lincoln, the respondent. Dr. Bennett Leventhal testified on behalf of the petitioner, and Dr. James Cavanaugh testified on behalf of the respondent. After some spirited direct and cross examinations and closing arguments, the jury, or audience, rendered its verdict NOT to commit Mary Lincoln involuntarily to a mental institution. The vote was 66 yes, 266 no.