The Law: How to Control the Court

"I've been called a pig once too often," said New York Supreme Court Justice John M. Murtagh last week. With that he recessed the pretrial hearings of 13 Black Panthers accused of plotting to blow up department stores, police stations and the New York Botanical Garden. Murtagh's ire was understandable. For 13 days the defendants directed streams of verbal vitriol at the bench and the prosecuting attorneys, bringing courtroom proceedings to a virtual standstill. Murtagh's solution: let the Panthers cool off in jail until they agree in writing to follow the traditional rules...