Trials: The Risk of Mockery

"Drama is anything you can get away with."

—Revolution for the Hell of It, by Abbie Hoffman.

In Chicago, the dramatis personae include a wizened, erratic and irascible judge who admits that "I am not an altogether modest fellow." The prosecutor is an ambitious young U.S. attorney held over from the Democratic Administration to try eight of the nation's leading radicals on an anticonspiracy law that may very well be ultimately found unconstitutional. The defendants, who throw kisses at the jury, call the judge a "racist," and fully expect to go to jail, insist...

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