A college law professor asks the Prestons to defend a campus fascist leader accused of ordering the beating of a student who took issue with his speech. The professor and both Prestons ... See full summary »

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(as Albert Sanders), (created by)
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Jack Powers
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Professor Wilson
Pat Henning ...
Tom Powers
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DA Louis Fontana
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Helen Donaldson
Dino Narizzano ...
Martin White
Freda Holloway ...
Esther Forbes
Augusta Merighi ...
Mrs. Carisi
Ray Reinhardt ...
Mr. Jackson
Lester Rawlins ...
Dr. Wuhl
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Judd Forrest
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Jack Wilks
John Boruff ...
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Storyline

A college law professor asks the Prestons to defend a campus fascist leader accused of ordering the beating of a student who took issue with his speech. The professor and both Prestons despise the defendant's beliefs, but feel he must be represented in court. Written by rbecker28

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Drama

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Release Date:

10 March 1962 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Ken Kercheval's TV debut. See more »

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One of the episodes that made this show famous
5 October 2016 | by (N Syracuse NY) – See all my reviews

This show made it's name by taking on controversial topics, although most of their episodes don't really fall in that category. For years the only peek we had of the show were pixel-challenged clips of this episode on You-Tube, (they seem to have disappeared but now there is the DVD).

The Prestons are asked to defend a neo-Nazi student who was making a speech on campus and a young man who started heckling him gets badly beaten up by the youthful Fuhrer's followers. The DA wants the boss and offers a deal to the guys who actually did the roughing up to be witnesses against their leader. The DA admits to Preston that his contempt for the leader, (Ben Piazza) has impacted his judgment on how to handle the case.

The Prestons themselves are being pressured by other clients to drop the case and Ken wonders why they are doing it. It all results in a dramatic hearing in the victim's hospital room where Lawrence demonstrates, even to the victim, that the speech in and of itself, was not the cause of his injuries and that to send the speaker to prison would be wrong, regardless of what he was saying. if we bend the law to lash out at those we disagree with, we are descending to their level.

The subject is right-wing extremism but it can easily be seen as an indictment of the reaction to left-wing extremism that was seen in the previous decade. The issues would be the same. Lawrence Preston achieves a victory of sorts when Piazza admits he's not sure of what to think about what has transpired and even thanks the court for being fair to him. maybe there is hope.


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