James Garner — and Jim Rockford — RIP

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Like many men of a certain age, I grew up watching “The Rockford Files,” which chronicled the adventures of James Garner’s witty, inventive, and often over-matched private investigator, Jim Rockford. Well-written and refreshingly cynical, that series also provided some perceptive and prescient critiques of the American police state when it was in its relative infancy.

The season three episode “So Help Me, God” depicted the now-routine abuse of the grand juryonce an independent, citizen-controlled entity used to investigate official corruption — by ambitious prosecutors:

The following season offered an episode entitled “The House on Willis Avenue” that anticipated the NSA’s computerized Panopticon state, which should have been strangled in the crib:

10:29 am on July 20, 2014