TRIALS: Conspiracy's End

Last April a jury in Harrisburg, Pa., was unable to reach a verdict on whether the Rev. Philip Berrigan and Sister Elizabeth McAlister had been guilty of an elaborate conspiracy to kidnap Henry Kissinger, blow up heating tunnels in Washington's federal buildings and raid draft boards. The only offense the jury agreed upon was that Berrigan and Sister Elizabeth had smuggled letters in and out of the federal prison at Lewisburg, Pa., during the summer of 1970 when Berrigan was imprisoned there.

Smuggling letters in and out of prison is an offense that is most often winked at. In the past,...

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