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John Sirica

From Academic Kids

Judge John Joseph Sirica (March 19, 1904 - August 14, 1992) was the Chief Judge for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. He was nicknamed Maximum John for his habit of giving defendants the maximum sentence guidelines allowed.

He rose to national prominence during the Watergate scandal when he demanded that President Richard Nixon turn over his recordings of White House conversations. Sirica's involvement in the scandal began when he presided over the trial of the Watergate burglars. He did not believe the claim that they had acted alone, and persuaded James McCord to implicate the men who had arranged the break-in. For his role in Watergate the judge was named TIME magazine's Man of the Year in 1973.

Sirica was born in Waterbury, Connecticut. He went to law school at Georgetown University. He was a Republican and was appointed to the Court in 1957 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. He retired in 1986 and died in 1992. Sirica published his account of the Watergate affair in 1979 under the title To Set the Record Straight.

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