The Law: Justice in New Haven

The Black Panthers and their sympathizers shouted their charges of political-racial persecution. Defense attorneys wrote a legal brief arguing that the Connecticut jury-selection system was unconstitutional. Yale President Kingman Brewster Jr. expressed skepticism about the judicial system's ability to be fair. All this even before the New Haven trial of Lonnie McLucas began. Throughout the eleven-week proceeding, the question persisted: Could a predominantly white, middle-class jury objectively judge the actions of a revolutionary Black Panther?

Last week the panel of ten whites and two blacks answered in the affirmative. After deliberating for 33 hours over six days—longer than any other jury in...

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