I was lying in a bed in what appeared to be a classroom. A woman, who reminded me somewhat of a former teacher, handed me and some other people in the room something to read. It was supposed to be a literary piece and we were being examined for reading comprehension.
I immediately recognized the piece was a case of the United States Supreme Court. The writer was Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas. I thought I should have little trouble and I began reading.
Basically I understood the case; but still it wasn't entirely clear. The basic question appeared to be whether a man could be arrested and tried for a crime if the indictment charging the crime didn't specifically name that man.
Justice Douglas explained the law on the subject. He wrote that the authorities must know specifically whom they are charging with the crime before they can arrest someone. He bemoaned the situation where a crime had been committed and the authorities had a general idea about who did it. But he said the law didn't permit criminal prosecution of someone who hadn't been named with specificity in the charging document.
Douglas admitted that information had come to his attention about this particular case which inclined him to believe in the accused's guilt. However, Douglas admitted that that evidence wasn't admissible before the court and I saw that part of the words had been blotted out in that paragraph.
So although Douglas himself was convinced of the guilt of the accused person, he strongly maintained that the law must be upheld and that in this particular case the accused must be set free.
I had to leaf back to an earlier page to be able to finally understand the case. I felt pleased with my understanding and I thought probably few others in the room had understood it so well. I was almost to the end of the opinion when I noticed that the teacher seemed to be becoming impatient.
Meanwhile three or four very young babies had been laid on my bed at its foot. I didn't notice them at first and I almost pushed one off the side with my foot. I wondered if the baby would have been seriously injured had I done so.
I picked the baby up I had almost pushed off and signaled to the lady that the babies were in a precarious position. Another baby was lying dangerously close to the edge also.
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