The restraints which any society must impose upon its police if it wishes to preserve private rights and safeguard the innocent operate inevitably, in some measure, to impair public safety and to afford protection for the guilty. Every society is obliged, therefore, to seek a rational balance between public safety and private rights—to choose between the exigencies of law and order on the one hand and the imperatives of freedom on the other.
—Alan Barth 1
As Robert Williams has remained in prison to serve his life term, the procedural laws important to the final resolution of the Williams case have continued to change. The changes have resulted from the continued exercise of judicial discretion in determining both the facts and law in new cases. The changes in the law have been mixed. Some have helped to clarify what procedures must be followed in order for evidence to be admissible at trial. Other new decisions have made law enforcement officials and lower court judges less sure of what procedures are acceptable. This chapter summarizes the changes in the procedural laws that were central to the Williams case.