TRIALS: Starting on Watergate

After six months of explosive rumors, the Watergate bugging trial got under way at last. But hardly had the jury been chosen last week in a Washington courtroom when one of the seven defendants pleaded guilty to the charges against him. By week's end, as Judge John Sirica moved the trial temporarily to a closed courtroom and barred spectators, there were reports that four of the other defendants planned to do the same. Pleading guilty would not, of course, make the defendants invulnerable to severe punishment; the maximum sentence for their offenses ranges between 24 and 34 years in prison...

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