Nation: Priceless Defenders

IN June 1967, Grant B. Cooper flew to Danang to win acquittal for a Marine sergeant charged with murdering a Vietnamese civilian. The boy's parents paid his fee, but the grizzled lawyer picked up the air fare. When somebody asked him why he went all the way to a battle zone halfway round the world, Cooper replied: "I've never defended a man in a military court before." Most probably he took on the Sirhan case—without pay—because he had never defended an accused assassin before.

Born in New York City in 1903, Cooper decided in...

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