Public Trial by Public Jury

Wall Street Journal, July 24, 1987.


At one point in the Iran-Contra hearings, Arthur L. Liman, Senate chief counsel, said (rather testily I¬†thought): “This is not a prosecution, Col. North, this is an investigation.” To which Col. North might well have said in response, “You could have fooled me, counsel.”

Mr. Liman might also have fooled the millions of Americans viewing the proceedings on their television screens. They know what a prosecution looks like. After all, they are a public schooled in TV courtroom trials, weaned on them, in fact, and to such an audience the trial setting must have been very familiar.

American Enterprise Institute