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July 24, 1992 - Image 49

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-07-24

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

"Pretty soon, they (police of-
ficers) will stop investigating
cases if they realize that the
prosecutor is going to make
some deal in a closed hall-
way," Mr. Thompson said.
Dharlene Barent, executive
director of the Democratic
Party of Oakland County,
thinks it is a waste of time
and money to bring to trial
, ‘ ? every small, non-violent of-
fender.
"Sometimes you need to
plea bargain," she said. "You
can't apply the same rules to
everybody. It won't work."
The result, added Mr. Ka-
plan, is that first-time, non-
violent offenders in Macomb
and Oakland counties receive
the same sentences whether
or not they are plea bar-
_ gained.
When it comes to physician
suicide, Mr. Thompson is just
as strict. He views Dr.
Kevorkian as someone with
little or no respect for the law
but rejects the claims that he
has a personal vendetta
against the non-practicing
pathologist.
When Janet Atkin's (the
doctor's first suicide assist in
1990) case first developed, I
had a duty to respond," Mr.
Thompson said. "I looked at
the law and felt that the first
degree murder statute had
been violated."
Mr. Kaplan said physician-
assisted suicide is an issue
that should be resolved by the
public, either through the
state legislators or through a
public referendum.
"I don't believe in suicide,"
Mr. Kaplan said. "But people

should not be forced to live
with severe, unremitting
pain. People should be al-
lowed to make their own de-
cisions as long as they are
competent."
Ron Kaplovitz, chairman of
the Criminal Law Committee
of Oakland County, likes Mr.
Kaplan's positions.
"His (Mr. Thompson) poli-
cies make it tough on lawyers
in Oakland County," Mr.
Kaplovitz said. "The system
is not effective when you pun-
ish the minor criminals the
same as you do the major
ones."
Mickey Shapiro, real estate
developer and a friend of Mr.
Thompson, likes Mr. Thomp-
son's tough crime position.
He cites his unwavering
support of the state's Ethnic
Intimidation Act, which
made acts of ethnic intimida-
tion a felony in Michigan.
In 1990, Mr. Thompson
helped orchestrate the defec-
tion of two Soviet Jewish ice
skaters in Detroit during a
performance at the Palace of
Auburn Hills.
Mr. Thompson, who grew
up in Dearborn, the son of Ar-
menian immigrants, does not
back down from his tough
stand on crime.
"I'm the only lawyer the vic-
tim has," he said. "The defen-
dant can go out and hire a
lawyer. But the victim doesn't
have a choice. They depend on
me to represent them."
Mr. Kaplan believes he can
do the job better.
"I wouldn't be seeking this
office if I were satisfied with
the way Oakland County's of-
fice is run." D

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Solarz Eclipse
Battled In New York

In New York, a leading
Jewish congressman is
engaged in an almost primal
struggle for political sur-
vival.
The fight involves Rep.
Stephen Solarz, a Democrat
who took a starring role dur-
ing the Persian Gulf War —
but who found himself under
a different kind of spotlight
as a result of the House bank
scandal.
For months, Solarz sup-
porters worked furiously to
avert redistricting proposals
that would have pitted him
against other popular Jew-
ish incumbents.
But when the final
redistricting plan was ap-
proved last week, Mr. Solarz
faced a Hobson's choice: the
nine-term incumbent could
run against Rep. Ted Weiss,
another Jewish veteran — or
in a newly created majority-
Hispanic district.

A battle against Mr. Weiss
was unattractive, despite
Mr. Solarz's huge campaign
war chest; the redrawn
district includes a big chunk
of New York's West Side, a
major Weiss stronghold.
After crunching the
numbers, Mr. Solarz decided
to run in the new majority-
Hispanic district, despite its
difficult demographics.
Mr. Solarz' fight for sur-
vival has added implications
for the pro-Israel community
because of the expected
shakeup in Congress this
year.

If Mr. Hamilton leaves,
Mr. Solarz would be his like-
ly replacement, a major coup
for the pro-Israel community
— but only if he survives the
tough odds in his new
district.

1992

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THE [TWIT ,IFWISH_NEWS 49

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