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January 31, 1979 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1979-01-31

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V

Page 2-Wednesday, January 31. 1979-The Michigan Daily
Rhodesians vote for majority rule

CHARGES SPORTS SPECTATORS RIPPED-OFF

Nader crusades for fans

SALISBURY, Rhodesia (AP)-Rhodesia's non-black
voters yesterday overwhelmingly approved a new con-
stitution that eventually will give control of this country to its
black majority.
Results from 37 of the nation's 50 election districts
showed 85 per cent approval, exceeding even the hopes of the
constitution's chief backer, Prime Minister Ian Smith.
Prime Minister Ian Smith and his black colleagues in the
bi-racial transitional government had told white voters the
constitution was the only alternative'to a takeover by black
guerrillas based in adjacent countries.
Before the returns were in, Smith predicted acceptance of

the constitution. He said Rhodesia's whites would give a
"strong message to the rest of the world."
"Rhodesians can make decisions, but regrettably other
people don't seem to be able to match us . . ." Smith said. "I
am referring to the British and United States governments."
Smith has repeatedly stressed that Rhodesia needs the help
of the Western powers to successfully turn over control of the
country to its black majority.
Smith had stressed that the constitution, which retains
some safeguards to protect white interests, must be ap-
proved in order for Western powers to recognize the new
black-dominated government. That government is scheduled
to be chosen April 20 in this nation's first universal suffrage
elections by both whites and the three million adult blacks.

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By JOE VARGO .
Ralph Nader says that sports is losing
its sportsmanship.
The well-known consumer activist, in
town for a one-day visit, has formed a
new group, FANS (Fight to Advance
the Nation's Sports), whose goal is to
guarantee the spectator a -voice in the
wheeling and dealing of their local
sports team.
NADER SAID the need for such an
organization is obvious. "There has
been a tremendous abuse to the rights
of the nation's sports fans," he said.
"Fans spend billions a year on sports,
yet they are being squeezed out of
seeing their h6me teams play because
many teams require them to buy
season's tickets. Many fans cannot af-
ford the price of a season's ticket. We
want him (the fan) to be given just as
fair a shake as consumers in any other
market area," Nader asserted.
Nader said that many sports fran-
chises don't appreciate the value of the
spectator.
"IN MANY communities," he said,
"there are excessive tax subsidies
given to local teams without anything
being given back to the fan."
Nader added that teams often "forget
the fans who built up the teams' assets
in the first place."
Nader feels that FANS is making
progress in several areas. "Much more
information is being given out . to the
sports fan. In addition, we have spent a
good deal of time investigating the
amount taxpayers subsidize arenas and
stadiums. We also have been active in
forming local FANS chapters like the
one in San Diego. I think the future of
FANS is in local organizations," he
,said.
In addition to high ticket costs, Nader
said FANS is upset with several other
aspects of sports.
"WE ARE concerned with the poor
quality of food and drink being served
at sporting events," he said. "Besides
the poor quality, the cost of such food is
enormous. We are also concerned with
the monopolistic arrogance of sports
companies, who shuttle players around
like bubble gum cards, purely for
commercial profit."
The formation of FANS is the latest
move in Nader's long battle for con-
sumer rights and protection. A 1955
Princeton law school graduate, Nader

first gained national prominence in
1960 while researching the high number
of fatal automobile accidents. His 1965
book, Unsafe at Any Speed became a
best seller.
About a year later, public sentiment
swung in Nader's favor, and he was

Nader slams lawyers

called to testify before the Senate. His
testimony was instrumental in getting
the Traffic Safety Act passed, a law
allowing the government to set safety
standards for all cars sold in the U.S. In
1966, Nader accused General Motors of
spying on him, and he won a $425,000
settlement.

(Continued from Page 1)
was "ignored" when he attended law
school.
Nader also criticized the way ap-
pellate court cases are studied in law
school. "Schools with different
publishers study different cases," said
the consumersactivist. "In addition, the
people whose cases go to the appellate
court are the people who can, afford to
appeal the decision." Most poor people,
who constitute the vast majority of
people in need of legal aid cannot af-
ford to appeal a court decision, Nader
said.
Another glaring weakness in the legal
profession, according to Nader, is that
course offerings in law schools reflect
job opportunities.
"IN THE 1950s," Nadesaid, "There
were no courses offered in consumer,
poverty and environment law. Courses
concerning landlord and tenant rights
tended to focus on the rights of the lan-
dlord, not of the tenant," he said..
"There was also a heavy emphasis on
tax laws, not tax reforms."
Many legal experts who didn't care
about the plight of the poor and blacks
were shocked into awareness by the
riots of the 1960s, Nader said. "The fires
in the cities woke them up," he said.
"They didn't intuit or observe the fact
that there weren't enough legal chan-
nels for the poor. They had to be singed
by it."
Nader called on law students to take
pride in their profession. "Why not
have the pride to be a primary in-
dividual?" he asked. "Why not have the
pride to be more interested in obtaining
justice, rather than just providing your
clients with their right to legal coun-
sel? "
THERE ARE several crises. that
present a great challenge to the legal
profession. Nader called on law studen-
ts and young lawyers to meet these

challenges.
"The U.S. Postal System, which
worked well for 150 years," said Nader,
"is in deep trouble. Yet there isn't'one
lawyer working full-time trying to -fix
up the postal service.
"Product liability laws," said Nader,
"which are just now starting to protect
consumers are coming under in-,
creasing attacks from insurance com-
panies who want to shorten the time
consumers are protected and other
reactionary restrictions. Yet the only
lawyers fighting them are private at-
torneys with vested interests."
OTHER PROBLEM areas, according
to Nader, are white collar crime,
pollution and bureaucratic accoun-
tability. He called the latter "one of the'
most neglected areas of law."
In addition to a wholesale restruc-
turing of the legal system, the Equal
Justice Foundation (EJF) is pushing
for procedural reform in the legal
profession as well as less secrecy in
government, Nader said.
"One of the great rights of this count
try is to be able to form a group like the
EJF," said Nader. "The ACLU
(American Civil Liberties Union) and
the NAACP (National Association for
the Advancement of Colored People)
began as reform organizations, and
look at all the good they've done."
Already the EJF had an impact on
the legal profession, said Nader. "Since
it was started last year, it (the EJF)
has had a moral effect on the bar," he
said. "There is a feeling of shame
creeping into the profession."
As he concluded his speech, Nader
called for law students to take a broad
perspective of life into their careers.
"Make yourself count," he said. "We,
as lawyers, have a committment to the
world. But most lawyers never share in
the broader mission of life. They never
find out what it's all about."

Proposal 'B? overcrowds prisons

(Continued from Page 1)'
tence the better it will be for society:"
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I

the enactment of Proposal B because he
believes that habitual criminals make
up the bulk of law breakers. '
On January 17 the Court of Appeals
refused to hear a suit by Patterson to
make the ban on ''good time" retroac-
tive, applicable to prisoners even if
they were promised a parole board con-
sideration for early release before
Proposal B became law on December.
10.
PATTERSON HAS since appealed to
the Michigan Supreme Court to hear his
plea for applying Proposal B retroac-
tively.
The State Bar of Michigan has asked
the Supreme Court not to apply the law
retroactively to prisoners now awaiting
parole.
"A DEFENDANT may have pleaded
guiltythree years ago to a crime having
a minimum sentence of ten years
because he knew that with good time
his actual time would amount to six
years, four months." Application of B
in this example would change the
prisoner's sentence after he had been
sentenced.
Philip Spelman of the bar said, "This
idea of making the law apply retroac-
tively is stretching a guy's sentence af-
ter the fact he was sentenced. You've
been good then B screws you."
Pesetsky said he knew of a prisoner
who was to go before the parole board
within the next month to try to receive
an early release. If Proposal B is ap-
plied retroactively, this prisoner will
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have to serve another six years
automatically.
"SOMETHING like this makes a
prisoner a very bitter persop," Peset-
sky said.
When Patterson was confronted with
this situation, he said, "I'm sure the
prisoner won't like the extension, but if
my initial premise is correct, we'll
reduce crime by keeping it, it's worth
the hostility he'll feel."
Making the law retroactive "is as fair
to them as they were to their victims,"
Patterson added.
A GROUP OF lawyers has also filed a
lawsuit with the State Supreme Court
challenging the constitutionality of
Proposal B on the grounds that the
petition was a deceitful way of collec-
ting signatures andthat B makes ar-
bitrary classifications of prison in-
mates. The petition which circulated to
place the proposal on the ballot said
that people convicted of committing
violent crimes or crimes where a
possibility of violence was present,
would be ineligible for parole under the
new law. Not all of the crimes
enumerated under B are considered
violent by these lawyers.
Pesetsky said murderers are good
parole risks. "They don't kill again or
commit a crime again. They don't
violate parole."
Moreover, an analysis of Proposal B
by Team Justice said that prisoners
who serve their full sentences are the
most likely to return to prison. Inmates
involved in community programs have
a better chance of adjusting to society,
the study said. It also concluded long
periods of imprisonment not only breed
hostility and resentment, but also make
it difficult for the offender to avoid fur-
ther law violations.
A PRISONER without opportunity
for parole will remain disciplined, Pat-
terson said.
Proposal B opponents also cite
studies showing the increase in costs to
taxpayers resulting from the increased
-prison population. The Department of
Corrections claims operating costs will
increase by $35 million per year and
construction expenses for' new prisons
will grow by $200 million.
Patterson acknowledges the an-
ticipated rise in costs to taxpayers but
says this is the cost to be paid to reduce
crime.

Mental Health Research Institute
205 Washtenaw Place

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