Law: Not Guilty By Necessity

"Everyone on the jury was over 30," a beaming Amy Carter, 19, told cheering supporters after she and 14 co-defendants, including over-30 Activist Abbie Hoffman, were acquitted last week of trespassing and disorderly conduct charges. Their seven-day trial stemmed from a November protest against CIA recruiting at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Carter and her colleagues were allowed by the judge to invoke a centuries-old, common-law "necessity defense." An offense may be considered justifiable if it is directed against a "clear and imminent danger" that is of greater harm to the community, in this case alleged CIA lawbreaking in Central...

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