Trials: The Ruby Circus

In theory, the adversary system on which U.S. trials are built is a legal contest with one overriding purpose: to discover the truth. In fact, outside pressures often change the courtroom controversy into a lawyers' scramble for headlines. And when that happens, the search for truth may be sadly neglected. This is the disturbing conclusion of The Trial of Jack Ruby (Macmillan; $7.95), by Professors John Kaplan and Jon R. Waltz of Stanford and North western universities, a deft and read able analysis that depicts a legal disaster—a world-watched trial in which the...

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