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The Nation

A federal judge, making a personal plea during an extraordinary appearance on the Senate floor, urged senators to throw out impeachment charges that he plotted to get a $150,000 bribe and lied about it at his trial. Saying a jury has acquitted him, District Judge Alcee L. Hastings of Miami, the first black judge in Florida history, told senators: “The jury system is the cornerstone of justice in America and to tamper with it lightly is to send a message that is both pernicious and dangerous.” The proceeding was held only to hear the plea by Hastings for dismissal of 16 of the 17 articles of impeachment approved Aug. 3 by a House vote of 413 to 3. The Senate planned to wait until today to rule on Hastings’ motion to dismiss.


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