On the Trial of Ruth Ellis

The French newspaper Le Monde commented at the time of the trial: ‘English law does not at the moment recognize any intermediate stage between the rational and balanced being who kills in perfect awareness of what he is doing and the total lunatic who is not conscious of his own acts. As everyone knows, the Englishman is – or believes himself to be – a creature of sang-froid, and the legal system in force supports this fiction.’ (Cited in Marks and van den Bergh, op. cit., 134).

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