William Moses Kunstler

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Kunstler, William Moses,

1919–95, American lawyer, b. New York City, grad. Yale (1941), Columbia law school (1948). Flamboyant and often brilliant, Kunstler defended the unpopular and unfailingly supported left-wing causes and clients. He represented his first controversial case in the 1950s, and by the 1960s was working with the American Civil Liberties UnionAmerican Civil Liberties Union
(ACLU), nonpartisan organization devoted to the preservation and extension of the basic rights set forth in the U.S. Constitution. Founded (1920) by such prominent figures as Jane Addams, Helen Keller, Judah Magnus, and Norman Thomas, the ACLU grew
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 and representing Martin Luther KingKing, Martin Luther, Jr.,
1929–68, American clergyman and civil-rights leader, b. Atlanta, Ga., grad. Morehouse College (B.A., 1948), Crozer Theological Seminary (B.D., 1951), Boston Univ. (Ph.D., 1955).
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 and other civil rights leaders. His most famous case was the Chicago SevenChicago Seven,
group of political activists, originally eight in number, who led protests at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968 and were charged with criminal conspiracy and incitement to riot.
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, whom he defended against charges of inciting a riot at the 1968 Democratic convention. Other cases included his defense of the American Indian Movement at Wounded KneeWounded Knee,
creek, rising in SW S.Dak. and flowing NW to the White River; site of the last major battle of the Indian wars. After the death of Sitting Bull, a band of Sioux, led by Big Foot, fled into the badlands, where they were captured by the 7th Cavalry on Dec.
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 (1974), of prisoners in the Attica riots (1975), of drug dealer Larry Davis (1986), of gangster John Gotti (1992), and of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and other accused terrorists in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He wrote The Case for Courage (1962), Trials and Tribulations (1985), The Emerging Police State (2004), and other books.


See his My Life as a Radical Lawyer (1994); biography by D. J. Langum (1999); E. and S. Kunstler, dir., William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe (documentary, 2009).

References in periodicals archive ?
In 1989, he and William Kunstler, one of the CCR's founders and a celebrity of the legal left, persuaded the Supreme Court to overturn a Texas law criminalizing burning the American flag.
One of the most helpful accounts of the trial is that of crusading attorney William Kunstler, in Politics on Trial: Five Famous Trials of the Twentieth Century.
Radical lawyer William Kunstler echoed his client's accusations and further inflamed racial tensions by kvetching, "The white element was there to destroy her.
Heading it up was Sarah Kunstler, daughter of the legendary radical lawyer William Kunstler, who today works alongside Elizabeth Fink, who represented the Attica prisoners in the years after the raid.
So when Nosair was arrested, Shalabi took it upon himself to raise the money for his legal fund, particularly after star attorney William Kunstler signed on for the defense.
Her husband, Joel, is an aging, high-profile Jewish radical lawyer reminiscent of William Kunstler or Leonard Boudin, the sun around whom the family orbits.
Mark Ruffalo as Rubin, Liev Schreiber as their and five other defendants' co- counsel William Kunstler (surviving defense attorney Leonard Weinglass provides his own voice), Nick Nolte as prosecutor Thomas Foran and the recently deceased Roy Scheider as the elderly, civil-liberties-torturing Judge Julius Hoffman.
The same kind that were attracted to his class could be found in mine: future public interest lawyers, poverty lawyers, human rights lawyers, and, in good years, a future Jack Olender or William Kunstler.
Even though Boudin first called William Kunstler for the Brink's case, she soon settled on her father.
Launched by Abbie Hoffman, William Kunstler, Leonard Weinglass, and a bevy of other hard-core revolutionaries, R&R is a militant Marxist/Maoist group.
While it is refreshingly free of the dime-store psychoanalysis that appears in many modern biographies, the book thoughtfully explores the complexities of William Kunstler the man.
Such important figures as Maurice Eisendrath, Jack Greenberg, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Stanley Levinson, Allard Lowenstein, William Kunstler, and Harry Wachtel are featured in Shared Dreams, but Schneier also sheds light on lesser-known figures like King's literary agent, the German-Jewish refugee Joan Daves, and Rabbi Israel Dressner.