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A 21st-Century Reconsideration of Leopold and Loeb

May 2024 marks the centenary of the murder of 14-year-old Bobby Franks by Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, whose sentencing hearing in the summer of 1924 riveted Chicago and the world. With Cook County State’s Attorney Robert Crowe demanding the execution of the confessed murderers, celebrated attorney Clarence Darrow stepped in to lead the defense, making history with his use of psychiatric testimony and his impassioned arguments against the death penalty.

One hundred years later, this program will revisit the prosecution, defense, and sentencing of Leopold and Loeb through the lens of 21st-century ideas about juvenile criminal justice, as a panel of legal and psychiatric experts presents a sitting judge with the arguments they would make if the trial were to take place today.


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