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A future society has invented a device which picks up the "finger prints" which light and sound waves leave on matter, descrambles them and produces the image of any event in the previous fifty years.  This means that, when Julian Clay murders Andrew Maddox, the Public Prosecutor can see him doing it.  Only a plea of acting on impulse under provocation can save his life.

(In fact Clay planned Maddox's murder, to the last detail, months in advance.  Knowing his every move had an unseen future audience.  Murder was a necessity for Clay.  Maddox had taken away his fiance, Bea.  Bea anyway despised Clay as an indecisive weakling.  To commit murder and get away with it was one decisive, defiant act which would lay these ghosts and overcome the sense of inferiority which had haunted him since childhood.  His acquittal and reunion with Bea, however, leave him unsatisfied.  Only by a second murder, committed in public, can his ruthlessness achieve the recognition he desires.)

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