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Mary Todd Lincoln Insanity Trial Restaged Before Local Judges, Using Modern Laws

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Did Abraham Lincoln's wife get a fair trial in 1875? Many have disputed the insanity ruling that condemned Mary Todd Lincoln to an asylum and on Monday, the former First Lady will get a second chance to plead her case.

Actors and attorneys will re-enact Mary Todd Lincoln's insanity trial in Chicago on Monday, in front of real judges who will evaluate the case using modern standards, the Associated Press reports. The event, sponsored by the Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, is sold out in Chicago, but will be repeated in Springfield in October.

Mrs. Lincoln was declared insane at her initial trial based on allegations from her son Robert following Abraham Lincoln's assassination a decade earlier. A second jury later reversed the decision, but only after Lincoln had been committed to Bellevue Sanitarium in Batavia, Ill. Historians have questioned whether she would be found mentally incompetent by modern medical standards.

The actress portraying Mary Todd Lincoln arrived in Chicago by horse-drawn carriage Sunday, accompanied by her attorney, ABC Chicago reports.

The retrial events are being chronicled on the event's website, WasMaryLincolnCrazy.com.

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