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December 02, 1969 - Image 8

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1969-12-02

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Wage Eight

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Tuesday, December 2, 1969

Page Eight THE MICHIGAN DAILY Tuesday1 December 2, 1969

I' - 1

CONTENTION CHARGE:
Three convicted in LSA trial;
students present own defense

By TAMMY JACOBS
Three people were convicted last
Wednesday of creating a conten-
tion during the LS&A Bldg. sit-in
Sept. 25. The trial had started the
previous Monday.
Joel Block, '69, and Michael
Hooker, '71, served as their own
atthrneys in the consolidated trial.
The other defendant, Mary Brugh,
was defended by Peter Steinberger
of the Legal Aid Society.
Thomas Shea, Assistant Prose-
cuting Attorney for Washtenaw
County, said the legal trial was the
first of the LSA sit-in series to
have students defend themselves.'
Most of the testimony for both
the defense and prosecution was
II

given on Monday. District Court
Judge Pieter G. V. Thomassen ad-
journed the court at 10:45 that
evening until the following Wed-
nesday.
The jury deliberated for almost
eight hours before handing down
its decision. During the delibera-
tion period, the jurors re-entered
the courtroom twice to ask specific
questions concerning the exact
meaning of the contention statute
In the case for the prosecution,
Shea called the defendants' pres-
ence in the LSA Bldg. "an inter-
ruption of peace and quiet" and
"a violation of public order."
He produced witnesses to testify
that a University photographer

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had been struck during the pro-
test. and that janitors were not
able to do their work.
Steinberger agreed with Shea's
summary of events, but said that
"my belief is that it is not enough
to be physically present on a spot
while minding your own business."
Since Mrs. Brugh neither caused
nor "aided and abetted" in the
creation of a disturbance, he said,
she should be found innocent.
Block's case also was based on
the argument that he personally
was not involved in the specific
disturbances by Shea. In his clos-
ing statement. Block said Shea
"has broken his promise" to pro-
duce evidence proving thattBlock
was guilty of contention.
In an analogy drawn between
the Ohio State University foot-
ball game and the sit-in, Block
asserted that not everybody at the
'ame was guilty of tearing down
the goalposts afterwards, nor was
everybody at the sit-in guilty of
creatina a contention.
Hooke"'s closing statement was
"more emotionally aimed" than
the others' were, he said. but he
pleaded innnocent on basically the
same grounds.
A witness called by Hooker had
testified that he was not in the
LSA Bldg. unitl 11 p.m., far after
the time of the "attack" on t~le
photographer.
"We were convicted because we
were part of a group, not as in-
dividuals." Hooker said later.
Block is the only defendant of
the three who said he is definitely
planning an appeal although he is
not sure whether he wili again act
as his own counsel.
Steinberger is not yet sure if he
will appeal on Mrs. Brugh's behalf.
Hooker also is not sure whether
he will appeal, but said that if ne
did. he would obtain a lawyer to
handle his case.
Possible grounds for appeal, said
Steinberter" include the number
of p~eremptory challenges of jury
members each defendant was al-
lowed, the constitutionality of the
contention law itself, and the
legality of the judge's instructions
to the ju-y.
The three will be sentenced Jan.
16 along with 16 others who have
been oreviously convicted. The
first 16 were to be sentenced Nov.
21. but the date was delayed until
Jantuary.
Ei ht s indents. also charged
with contention in the sit-in, were

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