The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 104, July 2000 - April, 2001 Page: 43
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2000 "The Trial of a Juror" 43
Max Causey as a student at East Texas
State Teachers College (now Texas
Photograph courtesy Mrs. Rosemary Causey.
renowned San Francisco attorney who defended Mr. Ruby, set a very dif-
ficult task for himself in attempting to convince a Texas jury, in 1964,
that Jack Ruby suffered from an exotic mental disease called psychomo-
tor epilepsy, or the related condition known as psychomotor variant.
The mental disorder had only recently been described by Dr. Frederic
Gibbs in the December 1963 issue of Neurology, the official journal of the
American Academy of Neurology.4 Mr. Causey and the other jurors
plainly said a defense that explained the killing in terms of Mr. Ruby's
emotional, even "patriotic," reaction to the assassination of President
Kennedy would have been more convincing, and at least might have
spared Mr. Ruby the death penalty. The jurors insisted on proof that Mr.
Ruby did not know right from wrong when he shot Mr. Oswald. To their
minds, they never received such proof.
Further, it can be seen from Mr. Causey's writing that, at least for him,
the deciding factor may not have come until the testimony of the final
witness, Dr. Gibbs, whose name had been trumpeted by the defense
since the start of the trial.
The amount of publicity the jurors received before, during, and after
the trial was remarkable. Mr. Causey's comments on the publicity, even
9 Kaplan and Waltz, The Trial of Jack Ruby, 86.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 104, July 2000 - April, 2001, periodical, 2001; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101221/m1/71/: accessed November 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.