The Law: The Second Jury

Almost every American courthouse has its group of hangers-on—unofficial legal scholars who keep a critical eye on judges, lawyers, jurors and witnesses. To discover who those people are, TIME Correspondent Leonard Levitt recently prowled the corridors of the New York State Supreme Court building in Brooklyn. He found amateur philosophers, sensation seekers—and a surprising amount of legal expertise. His report:

Most buffs arrive at the courthouse at 10:30 a.m.—the subway charges half fare for the elderly after 10. Before the cases get going, 30 or 40 of them—all retired men—gather in the hallways pondering the day's entertainment schedule with a precision achieved...

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