The Nation: An Interim Judgment on the Judge

"Outrageous," declares Harvard Law Professor Alan M. Dershowitz. "Stupid," says Boston Criminal Lawyer Joseph Oteri. "The third Watergate crime," charges New York Times Columnist William Safire.

Such pointed criticism of particular aspects of Federal Judge John J. Sirica's handling of the Watergate conspiracy trial has been growing. Yet most legal experts consulted by TIME correspondents consider any overall negative judgment premature. With few exceptions, they feel that the outspoken Sirica has not as yet committed any serious errors that could lead to a reversal of any convictions in the case. At worst, they...

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