The Mail 'POLITICAL TRIAL'
To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
I wish to make some comments about my trial and the circumstances leading to my arrest. It is clear to me that I was convicted of "being a disorderly person" for political reasons rather than legal ones. The weak and false testimony of the prosecution was contradicted by all eight of my witnesses-and the judge in his closing statement said, in effect, that I was to be convicted because there was a disturbance and I was there. This is absurd if one merely reads the statute in question. More disturbing, however, is the fact that from the judge's comments it is clear that my sentence would have been higher had I been deemed by him "one of the leaders of the situation." In truth, that would have meant that I would have been a police officer-but that is patently not what the court had in mind. My only crime was to make a moral appeal (albeit an ill-conceived one) to the captain of the Cambridge Police. Thus while my defense was legal in form, it seems clear to me that my trial was political in content. I accepted my suspended sentence and probation rather than appealing only as a matter of personal prudence. (I should like to emphasize that the Harvard professors who testified in my defense were all asked to do so by me only as a personal favor.)
Furthermore I should not like to lose sight of the fact that my arrest arose out of the trial of Cheyney Ryan. M. David Landau's feature article on that trial is. I believe, very informative. My only comment now is that Dean May's statement that "we are all united against political repression" is especially obscene in the light of Harvards decision to prosecute Cheyney.