Washington Prosecutor Asks Sanity Hearing for Nazi Leader Rockwell
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Washington Prosecutor Asks Sanity Hearing for Nazi Leader Rockwell

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The question of whether self-styled Nazi George Lincoln Rockwell is legally sane was raised today at a hearing at which an attorney for the District of Columbia asked a municipal judge to institute a sanity hearing for the leader of the “American Nazi party.”

Assistant Corporation Counsel Clark King told Municipal Judge George B. Neilson that he believed Rockwell was of unsound mind. Mr. King added that he could produce prima facie evidence that Rockwell might not be mentally competent to stand trial.

Rockwell appeared with 11 of his “storm troopers” on charges of disorderly conduct growing out of a riot which developed at a Rockwell rally last Sunday. Six members of the audience at the rally also appeared on similar charges.

Rockwell, who entered the courtroom with intentions of acting as his own defense attorney, was obviously shaken by Mr. King’s request for a sanity hearing. After at first rejecting the court’s offer to provide him with legal aid, he changed his mind and asked for counsel. The court named O. B. Parker, a Washington attorney, as his counsel.

Rockwell told the court that if any hearing was to be held on the sanity question, he would want to be observed by an alienist of his own choosing. He therefore asked for a continuance of the hearing, which Judge Neilson approved, giving Rockwell three weeks.

Mr. King then asked that Rockwell provide bond for $1, 000 to guarantee his appearance. Mr. Parker said there was no reason to doubt that Rockwell would appear but Judge Neilson ruled that Rockwell would have to post a bond of $300. This appeared to present considerable difficulties for the neo-Nazi since bonding companies in the area were understood to be reluctant to go his bond.

The Nazi group appeared in civilian clothes although all of its members wore swastikas. Some of them were still badly bruised from the fracas on Sunday.

The hearings were adjourned until July 27 for Rockwell and followers and until Sept. 3 for the other defendants.


Vice President Richard M. Nixon described Rockwell yesterday as representing “an evil to which Americans react with repugnance.”

The Vice President, in a reply to Bernard Abrams, national commander of the Jewish War Veterans, rejected Rockwell’s political support and said. “I completely repudiate him and the evil eye he represents. No American who remembers the horror of Nazi bestiality can react to Rockwell’s words with anything but complete and utter repugnance.”

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