The Law: Recognizing Reality

Events usually outrace laws, but sooner or later the courts try to catch up with ever-changing realities. Last week the Supreme Court recognized some facts of modern life and adjusted the law accordingly:

> Charged with first-degree murder and confronted with strong state's evidence of his guilt, Henry Alford of Winston-Salem, N.C., waived a jury trial and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. Under North Carolina law, he thus risked a 30-year sentence instead of death. But even while pleading guilty, Alford protested his innocence. "I ain't shot no man," he told the judge. "I just pleaded guilty because they said if I...

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