BILLS PASSED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF 1929 AND
VETOED BY GOVERNOR RITCHIE AND HIS
REASONS IN EACH CASE FOR THE SAME.
THE TOTAL NUMBER OF BILLS VETOED IS 58.
(All of these bills were vetoed by the Governor after the ad-
journment of the Legislature, either having been pre-
sented to him after the adjournment of the Legislature
or not in sufficient time, to require executive action be-
fore adjournment. )
COMPULSORY MENTAL EXAMINATION OF
PERSONS INDICTED FOR MURDER.
(Chapter 371, House Bill 496)
The principal purpose of this bill is to furnish a substitute
for the battles between alienists which play so prominent a
part in many modern trials for murder, and which have been
the subject of so much just criticism. Certainly this is a de-
sirable and praiseworthy object, and it is with considerable
regret that I find certain features in the bill which I think
require me to veto it.
The bill provides that every person indicted for the crime
of murder in any degree shall be examined by the Psychia-
tric Committee of the State Board of Mental Hygiene in
order to determine such person's mental condition and the
existence of any mental disease or defect. The Psychiatric
Committee is required to file with the Clerk of the Court a
full report of its investigation, which shall be accessible to the
Court, the State's Attorney and the attorney for the accused,
and the members of the Committee are further required to
testify at the trial of the case upon the matters contained in
This would result in injecting the question of insanity into
every trial for murder in Baltimore City or in any of the coun-
ties of the State, even though neither the State nor the de-
fense desired to raise that issue. I am advised that in Balti-