The Law: A Year Ago at Attica

The fusillade of shotgun pellets and dumdum bullets went on for six minutes. When it was over, 29 inmates and ten guard hostages at the maximum-security prison outside Attica, N.Y., lay dead or dying in the early morning drizzle. Last week, one year after the massacre, a nine-member special commission created by New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller issued its report* on what happened before, during and after the bloodiest prison riot in U.S. history. Headed by N.Y.U. Law Dean Robert B. McKay, the commission interviewed 1,600 inmates, as well as 400 guards and hundreds of state troopers and National Guardsmen. Among...