Justice: Trying Times for a Vigilante

Trying Times for a Vigilante

Ever since he shot and wounded four youths who had approached him on a Manhattan subway in December 1984, Bernhard Goetz has been alternately hailed as a hero in the war against crime and condemned as a trigger-happy gunman. Now a jury will be asked to decide which label fits him. The New York State Court of Appeals last week reinstated attempted murder and assault charges against Goetz, ordering him to stand trial as early as Sept. 2.

The subway gunman won a dismissal of the charges last January, when a lower court ruled that New York's law on self-defense justified...

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