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September 22, 1968 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1968-09-22

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

Page Two

THE MICHIGAN'DAILY

xae T oT E M C I A A L

Sunday, September 22, 1968

Reor
(Continued from page one)
er's Court,. petitions for a writ of
habeus -corpus are acted on im-
mediately. During t h e riot, ac-,
cording to the report, action on
habeus corpus petitions was com-
monly delayed for 10 days.
Since the purpose of requesting
a writ is to obtain release of a
prisoner or a reduction of bail,
a 10'-day delay effectively destroys
thte intent of the writ. This was
especially true during the riot,
since ball was reduced in most
cases to nominal levels or to per-
sonal recognizance after prison-
ers had been detained for a week
or 10 days.
Under this process, by the time
a habeus corpus petition was con-
sidered, it had become moot.
* Individual judges and the
court as' a whole committed what
can only be considered serious
breaches of judicial practices. For
example, the authors cite an in-
cident where Justice Thomas
Brennan of the Michigan Supreme
Court reportedly assured the
judges of the Recorder's Court'
'that whatever they felt necessary
to do to cope with the disorder
would be upheld by the Supreme
Court."
Normally, judges do not com-
ment on the likely outcome of
cases which are before them or
which might conceivably c o m e
before them. "It can only be con-
jectured what effect this might
have had on the attitude of Re-
corder's Court judges in adopting
a high bail policy," the article
says.
An incident is cited in which
Recorder's Judge Thomas Poin-
dexter, in at' least one case, con-
cluded a preliminary examination
by binding five defendants over
to trial before the defense had an
opportunity to cross-examine
prosecution witnesses. The. exam-
ination transcript, quoted in the
article, has Poindexter saying,
after attorney Justin Ravitz had
protested for his right to cross-
examine:
"Very well, the Court does not'
feel in this instance that it is
necessary to conduct cross-exam-
ination."
The report charges that this
conduct by the judge, "is in direct
conflict with Michigan law and
procedure." /
In the days following the riot,.
the police conducted a large num-
ber of searches of homes and
apartments in an effort to locate"
riot loot. As a result of the search-
es, a number of people were ar-
rested and charged with receiving
stolen property or related charges.
According to the article, a number
of these searches were conducted
without warrants after residents

INU

hits

Detroit'

Recorder's

wanted to have a chance to ex-
plain. I wanted to tell him that
I got a job this summer and I was
trying to go back to school, you
know. And it was the first break
I'd had in a long time. And I
didn't get a chance to say it. And
because of it I lost my job."
When the case came up for
preliminary examination, the man
was released for lack of evidence
after spending two weeks in de-
tention. "I was like a beast let
loose in the wilderness," was how
he explained his reaction at that
point. "That's just what I was. I
was an animal.
"On outside, I wa's yelling and
screaming-I jumped down the,
street. I was just like a hyena, I
was an animal. And I looked like
one, too. And I felt/like one. Every
white face I passed I wanted to
smash it."
Several months after h'is arrest
the man's attitudes toward the
legal process had not become more
favorable. "I could knock some
man's head off," he said. I feel
like this now: If one of you should
dare touch me again, try to de-
humanize me again, I'd kill you."
The article also notes a number
of other cases in which persons,
lost jobs because they were de-
tained for several days or longer.
In many of those cases, charges
were dropped or dismissed.
The authors also say the in-
human conditions existing in
many of the detention facilities
pressed into use during the riots
made a lasting contribution to the
utter distrust of many citizens in-
volved in the riot hold toward the
legal establishment.
Although Recorder's Court bears
the brunt of the article's attack,
it is rot the only Detroit legal in-
stitution to be chastised by the
authors.
The report criticizes the De-
troit bar for failure to provide
volnteer services during the early
stages of the riot. "The organized
a~

bar, which later responded so well
to the need for counsel at pre-
liminary examinations, made no
effort to intervene during the ar-
raignments on the warrant, the
report says. "According to Judge
John Emery, a municipal judge of
Birmingham, Michigan, *he bar
was wholly inactive during te
disorder period, which is when the
arraignments were being con-
ducted,
"Similarly, Prof. Frank Seng-
stock of the University of Detroit
Law School observed: 'The legal
profession in Detroit did not cneck
the court of justice throughout
most of the week in which the
riot occurred. In fact, the profes-
sion was paralyzed.'"
The article says the procedural
problems of Recorder's Court were
greatly compounded by the den-
tention arrangements utilized
during the riot. Once the Wayne
County Jail was filled, and it was
filled quickly, the Sheriff's De-
partment began moving prisoners

Court
to a number of temporary deten-
tion facilities. Many prisoners
were kept in precinct lockups, the
Police Headquarters garage, Rec-
order's Court bullpens, heavily-
guarded city buses and the Belle
Isle Park bathhouse for several
days. In addition to the fact most
of these temporary facilities sim-
ply were not fit for human habi-
tation, the report says the Sher-
iff's Department failed, to keep
adequate records of where pris-
oners were sent.
The ensuing difficulty in find-
ing prisoners for court appear-
ances greatly exaggerated the
mes in the courts, the article says.
The authors' also charge that the
difficulty lawyers had in finding
their clients resulted in an effec-
tive denial of counsel to many
prisoners and that even in the
case of the few prisoners who
could make the high bails set by
the court, Sheriff's Deputies often
refused to accept the payment and
release the prisoners.

lI

had signed waivers. However, the
'question is raised whether grant-
ing a request to search without!
a warrant made by a group of
heavily armed officers constitutes
a voluntary waiver.
However, the report continues,
the judges, "were extremely re-
luctant ,to conduct an inquiry into
the legality of searches or seiz-
ures." Judge Poindexter is quoted
as making "the categorical state-
ment that no motions to suppress
evidence would be entertained in
his courtroom."
In the opinion of the authors
of the report, the, court's attitude
toward possibly illegal searches
and seizures created a situation
where, "it may be argued that
constitutional safeguards, while
being adhered to in principle, were
in fact either strained to the ut-
most of virtually nonexistant."
Besides the matter of excessive
bail, the report cites other in-
stances of possible presumption of
the guilt of defendants on the part
of judges. The report quotes the
Detroit News on the following in-
terchange between an unnamed
judge and an accused looter,,who
asked at arraignment that he he
released on personal bond:
"You can't get a personal bond
in this court," the judge said.
"You're nothing but a bunch of
lousy, thieving looters."'t
"You'll have to prove that," the
accused replied.
"We will," the judge answered.
* In \line with the findings of
the National Advisory Commission

-By Tony Spina
on Civil Disorders (the Kerner
Commission), the report concludes
that the administration of justice
or lack of same during and after
the riot may have presented such
a view of the legal process that
it in fact sowed the seeds of fu-
ture disorders. "The reinforcement
of antisocial attitudes in some and
the creation of antisocial attitudes
in others apears to have been on
result of the administration of
criminal justice in the wake of
the Detroit civil disorder."
Several incidents are cited to
back this contention. Quoting in-
terviews conducted by Prof. Na-]
than Caplan of the psychology de-
partment and the Institute for
Social Research, the report gives
the reaction of one man, who was
late released for lack of evidence,
when Judge Robert Calombo set
bail at $3,000, "without even look-
ing up."
"I wanted to kill lm. Cuz' I
~~~I-NAL ~~~- ----OR ~- - ~

Stage kidnappings
tin Mexician uprising;

MEXICO CITY ()-Nightriders
shot up and set fire to some build-
ings and kidnaped three students
at a vocational school yesterday,
as a conflict between striking stu-
dents and the government con-
tinued.
The identity and affiliation of
the men who drove up to Voca-
tional School No. 4 yesterday
morning was unknown. They
sprayed the buildings with ma-
chine guns, set fire to the audi-

torium and kidnaped three stu-
dents.
One of the students was beaten
and thrown out of the car on the
Toluca highway.
The students, who occupy a
number of vocational and pre-
paratory schools, have been on
strike since July, refusing to take
examinations until. the govern-
ment gives in to six demands,
which include firing three police
officials and disbanding the corps
of riot police, or "Grenaderos."

presented;by
the University of Michigan
men's glee club
IF H U R S DAY
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Take Great Pride in Presenting
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with
Doc Severinson and Orchestra
Marilyn Maye
Bud and Cece Dance Team
in 2 Shows at 7:00 and 10:00 P.M.
on Saturday, October 5 at the
UNIVERSITY EVENTS BUILDING
" ALL SEATS RESERVED. Tickets priced as follows: Events Building
Floor: $5; Blue Section: $4; and Gold Section: $3. Mail orders may be
sent to Johnny Carson Show, 1024 Administration Building, Ann Arbor
48104. Accompany your order with a check made payable to the
Michigan Bands. Orders will be filled beginning on September 27.
General sales will begin on September 30.
All block orders must be in to 1024 Administration Building
by 5:00 P.M..on Wednesday, September 25.
ALL TICKETS FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE.

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mimA COLOR bysetuxe -
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starring ESSĀ°Y PERSSON MWI A Womian) as Theire'se

Lobby SAB Until
Wednesday, Septernber 25

$3.00.

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Tickets available at the door 6-9 P.M.

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