GOVERNMENT: On Second Thought...

"No, no," said the Queen. "Sentence first—verdict afterwards."

In some of this Alice in Wonderland atmosphere, Federal Judge Walter C. Lindley last week levied $175,000 in fines on the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. of America and 24 co-defendants for violating the antitrust laws (TIME, Sept. 30). But as he pronounced sentence, Judge Lindley made a confession. When he had found the defendants guilty a fortnight ago he had inadvertently convicted four innocent defendants. Now he was reversing his verdict on them.

In explanation of this unusual procedure, Judge Lindley said: "I think in my anxiety to get this matter disposed...

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