Leopold & Loeb
Darrow's strategy was to use the testimony of the alienists (forensic psychiatrists) to mitigate the death penalty.
Doctors Hulbert and Bowman studied every single detail of the lives of Leopold and Loeb and compiled it into an exhaustive report of some 300 pages of official transcript. The report was made to "determine whether or not insanity was a justifiable plea for the defense." Most importantly it set out to discover why these two boys killed Bobby Franks.
It became clear in this report that Richard Loeb had criminal tendencies that began to exhibit themselves at the age of 8 or 9.
Loeb stole money and objects with "absolutely no compunction of guilt or fear connected with this theft...but felt ashamed [when] his lack of skill caused him to be caught." Stealing and shoplifting for the thrill of it, rather than the desire for the object taken, continued unabated through his teenage years.
Leopold's role in Loeb's life was as an accomplice to his criminal acts. In exchange for limited homosexual favors (Leopold was allowed at certain intervals to insert his penis between Loeb's legs), Loeb drew Leopold into criminal acts which escalated in seriousness.
Stealing small objects graduated into stealing and vandalizing cars. Making annoying phone calls to school instructors graduated into turning in false fire alarms which then graduated into arson. In 1923, they planned a burglary of a friend's home when the family was away, taking with them a revolver to shoot the nightwatchman and ropes to tie up the maid if it became necessary. Fortunately, the engine of their car broke down and the plan was abandoned. Instead, they burglarized Loeb's Zeta Beta Tau fraternity house in Ann Arbor.
The Hulbert-Bowman report was "stolen" over the weekend and was widely published on Monday, July 26.
When the defense opened its case, by calling Dr. William Alanson White, head of St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, D.C. and president of the American Psychiatric Association, Crowe objected strenuously. "You do not take a microscope and look into a murderer's head to see what state of mind he was in, because if he is insane he is not responsible, and if he is sane, he is responsible. You look not to his mental condition, but to the facts surrounding the case did he kill the man because the man debauched his wife? If that is so, then there is mitigation here...But here is cold-blooded murder, without a defense in fact,and the attempt on a plea of guilty to introduce an insanity defense before your honor is unprecedented. The statute says that is a matter that must be tried by a jury."
Darrow rebutted: "The statute in this state provides that the court may listen to anything, either in mitigation of the penalty or in aggravation."
Actually, there was virtually no precedent in this matter. Several days of legal arguments ensued.