Testimony of Dr. Daniel Clark


Examined by MR. FITZPATRICK:

Q. You belong to Toronto, do you not? A. I do.
Q. What is your position there, doctor? A. Superintendent of the Toronto Lunatic Asylum.
Q. Have you had any experience in the treatment of the insane? A. A small experience.
Q. Limited to how many years, doctor? A. Between nine and ten years.
Q. Has it been your fate to attend occasionally as an expert in cases of lunacy? A. Yes, very often.
Q. Have you had any occasion to examine this prisoner here at the bar? A. I examined him three times, twice yesterday and once this morning.
Q. Did you attend at the examination of the other witnesses in this case yesterday and today? A. I did.
Q. From what you have heard from the witnesses here in court, and also from the examination which you have made of the accused, are you in a position to form any opinion as to the soundness or unsoundness of his mind? A. Well, assuming the fact that the witnesses told the truth, I have to assume that - assuming also that the prisoner at the bar was not a malingerer - that is English I believe - then of course there is no conclusion that any reasonable man could come to, from my standpoint of course, than that a man who held these views and did these things must certainly be of insane mind.
Q. Do you consider, doctor, that a person suffering from such unsoundness of mind as you say this man is suffering from, is incapable of taking the nature of the acts which they do? A. Why, the insane understand, many of them, the nature of the acts which they do, except in dementia cases and melancholia and cases of mania even; they often know what they do and can tell all about it afterwards; it is all nonsense to talk about a man not knowing what he is doing, simply because he is insane.
Q. Do you think that that man was, in the circumstances detailed by the different witnesses, in a position to be able to say or be able to judge of what he was doing as either wrong or contrary to law? A. Well, that is one of the legal metaphysical distinctions in regard to right and wrong, and it is a dangerous one, simply because it covers only partly the truth. I could convince any lawyers if they will come to Toronto Asylum, in half an hour, that dozens in that institution know right and wrong both in the abstract and in the concrete, and yet are undoubtedly insane; the distinction of right and wrong covers part of the truth; it covers the larger part of the truth, but the large minority of the insane do know right from wrong. It is one of those metaphysical subtilties that practical men in asylums know to be false.
Q. There are some lawyers who think it is false also? A. Well, the lawyers find it in the books, and they take it for granted it must be correct.
Q. Do you consider from the knowledge which you now have of this individual that at the time the events detailed by the witnesses here took place, that is to say, in March, April and May last, that he was laboring under such a defect of reason from disease of the mind, that he did not know that what he was doing was wrong? A. I think he did know; I think he was quite capable of distinguishing right from wrong.
Q. Quote the particular acts, doctor. A. Well, quote the particular acts; I presume 'if you were to ask him to define what is right and what is wrong, he could possibly give you a very good definition, as far as I could judge from my examination of him.
Q. Was he in a position to be able to say at that time, and to act that time as an ordinary sane man would have done? A. Assuming the evidence given by the witnesses, he did not act as a sane man would have done, for this reason that no sane man would have imagined that he could come into the Saskatchewan, and that he could gather around him such a force as would enable him to become monarch of this country, that it could be divided up into seven divisions, giving it to different nationalities. He was not an ignorant man. He was not like an Indian who never read the newspapers and knew nothing about the country around him. He had travelled, he had been in Ottawa, he had been in the United States, and he knew all about the power of Britain and the Dominion, and for him to imagine that he could come here and raise a few half-breeds in the Saskatchewan and keep up a successful warfare, and divide the country in seven divisions, with different nationalities, was certainly not a thing that a man with an ordinary understanding would ever think he could succeed in.
Q. So that you think at that time the man was certainly insane, and of unsound mind? A. Assuming the statements made, I think so.
Q. To be true? A. Yes.
Q. You take into consideration, of course, in this opinion, all the evidence given as well by the doctor as by the other witnesses? A. Yes; and I assume, of course, as I said before, that not only the evidence given is correct, but that he was not a deceiver. I might say, if the court will allow me, that when I come to cases of this kind, I am not subpoenaed for one side more than another. I am here only subpoenaed to give a sort of medical judicial opinion, and, therefore, I stand in that capacity.

MR. JUSTICE RICHARDSON: That is well understood, Dr Clark.

Cross-examined by MR. OSLER:

Q. Then, doctor, he would know the nature and quality of the act that he was committing? A. He would know the nature and the quality of the act that he "'as committing, subject to his delusions assuming them to be such.
Q. He would know the nature and quality of the act that he was committing, and he would know if it was wrong? A. If it was wrong, based upon his delusion; yes.
Q. And all the facts are quite compatible with a skilful shamming by malingering? A. Yes I think so. I think that no one - at least I say for myself, of course - that in a cursory examination of a man of this kind who has a good deal of cunning, who is educated, that it is impossible for any man to state from three examinations whether he is a deceiver or not. I require to have that man under my supervision for months, to watch him day by day, before I could say whether he is a sham or not.
Q. Months under your supervision to say whether he is a sham or not? A. Yes.
Q. And really the only ground upon which you would form an opinion as to his insanity is the commission of the crime? A. No, not the commission of the crime. I form an opinion of his insanity from the statements made by the witnesses both anterior to the crime and since that time.
Q. But you told the court and jury just now that what struck you was the insane idea of seeking to take possession of the country and divide it into provinces? A. Yes, that is one idea.
Q. That gave you the greatest idea of his insanity? A. One, and then another one was he was a Roman Catholic, and among Roman Catholic people, among people attached to their priests, and he went among that people endeavoring to conciliate them, as he supposed, in order to get them educated up in any schemes he had in view, and yet he goes to work and he says at once, I want to depose the Pope.
Q. But did you notice also this, that he gets people to follow him? A. Some of them do.
Q. Yes, but he got people to follow him with their guns? A. They followed him, on another basis.
Q. They elected him prophet? A. Yes, and he told me this morning he was a prophet, and he knew the jury would acquit him, because he knew what was coming beforehand.
Q. Then don't you think that that is perfectly consistent with such leading spirits as Joseph Smith and Brigham Young? A. No, it is not.
Q. Not consistent? A. No; and I will tell you the reason why.
Q. Well I don't want the reason, beyond your opinion? A. Well, it is not consistent.
Q. It is consistent, however, with fraud? A. Consistent with fraud. Yes, anything is consistent with fraud that is not discovered.
Q. You cannot say that it is not fraud? A. I cannot.
Q. And there is nothing here to show you, in the state of his intellect, that he was not able to distinguish between right and wrong, and know the quality of the act which he was committing? A. No, I say that I think that he knows what right is from wrong, subject to his delusions; but, mind you, I want to add to that, that many of the insane know right from wrong.
Q. And you know, doctor, very well, that there is a class of insanity that is held responsible to the law? A. You know I am not allowed to say anything about the responsibility legally-
Q. You know that there is a conflict between the courts and the doctors? A. I know there is.
Q. And you know that the doctors have an idea that all mental disease should be acquitted of crime? A. No, they don't all. For instance, Maudsley has written a small book on the responsibilities of the insane. He is a most prominent man in England.
Q. He brings in, and the doctors have a tendency, have they not, to bring in as irresponsible a very much larger class than the courts and lawyers? A. I think not. I think, of late years, that such men as Maudsley, Buchnell and Schuch, &c., and some of these recent investigators, lean to the idea that insanity per se does not absolve from responsibility. You have got to take each case on its own merits.
Q. There is a large class of insane people or cranks? A. Well. No, you cannot say, or cranks, because a crank is a different man altogether. A crank is a man who is normally a peculiar man from his birth upwards. An insane man is a man who has become so, out of unusual conduct from disease.
Q. I did not bracket them together, I put them in the alternative? A. You said 'or' crank. I thought you meant lunatic-crank.
Q. I put them as coming up to each other's border line? A. I see. I thought you had an equation.
Q. It is so that a large number then, I should say of insane persons, ought to be responsible to the law? A. There are some that are.
Q. For they know right from wrong, and know the nature and quality of the act they perform? A. When I speak about responsibility, it is said that the court should decide -
Q. That is when you are examined in chief, but on cross-examination we have a little more liberty? A. I see.
Q. You have been an expert witness in criminal cases? A. Yes.
Q. How frequently? A. Well, I don't know, perhaps nine or ten times, perhaps more. I don't remember exactly the number.

Re-examined by MR. FITZPATRICK:

Q. You said a moment ago that the conduct of this man might be consistent with the conduct for instance of such a man as Smith or Young, and you were about to make a distinction between the two, and you were stopped? A. Dh! Smith and Young were religious enthusiasts. They carried out consistently their system.
If you read Brigham Young's Bible, or if you read Mahomet's Koran if you like, or if you read any of those books issued by those men, who are religious enthusiasts, you will find that consistently with common sense, they have tact and discretion to carryon successfully till the end of their lives without intermission, a successful crusade of this kind, and their books contain sufficient consistency throughout to show you that these men were sound in mind as much as nature provided them with a sound mind, that is the different.
Q. Do you find anything of that kind in the present case? A. Oh, no, I don't think he would make a very good Brigham Young, or El Mahdi.
Q. You say that he is quite capable of distinguishing right from wrong, subject to his delusions? Subject to his particular delusions? A. Yes.

MR. LEMIEUX: This closes our defence, your Honor.

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