The verdict of insanity, in the case of the boy Coombs, is probably a just and right finding, although, as we point out in our record of the case, “The Times” and other papers evidently do not admit that the evidence of insanity was conclusive. In the case of an adult, similar evidence to that advanced in this case would have been severely criticised, and would very possibly have been rejected as not being conclusive proof of mental disorder. We fear that the unsatisfactory impression is left on the public mind, that the plea of insanity was thus readily accepted, to escape from the unpleasant dilemma of condemning so youthful a minor. This plea is always received with so much distrust by the public that even a suspicion of this kind must be a subject for regret.
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