A Small Slice of the Chicago Eight Trial
19 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2019
Date Written: September 15, 2019
The Chicago Eight trial was not the typical criminal trial, in part because it occurred at a time of society’s polarization, student demonstrations, and the rise of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Charges were levied against eight defendants, who were individuals that represented leaders in a variety of movements and groups during this time. This Essay examines the opening stages of this trial from the lens of a then relatively new criminal defense attorney, Gerald Lefcourt. It looks at his experiences before Judge Julius Hoffman and highlights how strong, steadfast criminal defense attorneys can make a difference in protecting key constitutional rights and values. Although judicial independence is crucial to a system premised on due process, it is also important that lawyers and law professors stand up to misconduct and improprieties.
Keywords: Chicago 7, Chicago 8, Ethics, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure
JEL Classification: K14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation