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January 28, 1972 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1972-01-28

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Eighty.one years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

circus maximus
PEST attacks the Institute for Good Works
by indsay chaney

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
ur the editors. This must be noted in all reprints



Protesting political- trials

THE RELEASE on parole of Daniel Ber-
rigan from federal prison should be
reason for some relief in a season marked
by yet more political trials such as the
one which- sent Berrigan to the Federal
Correctional Institution in Danbury,
Conn. under sentence for vandalizing
draft records.
For, while Berrigan is free, his brother
Philip and six co-defendants wen' on
trial Monday on charges of conspiring to
kidnap presidential advisor Henry Kis-
singer. And, in California, Angela Davis
faces trial - now scheduled to begin next
Monday - for allegedly supplying the
guns that killed four persons in an at-
tempt, to free three convicts undergoing
Political trials have always attracted
concern beyond that generated by ordin-
ary trials because they focus on issues
that transcend the individuals being
tried, And, it ,is in this light that the
trials of Angela Davis and the Harrisburg
defendants should be examined.
FIMTY YEARS AGO, groups of Ameri-
cans mobilized to protest the death
sentence imposed upon anarchists Ni-
chola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti
after a murder trial based on flimsy cir-
eumstantial evidence, conducted before
an obviously biased judge and jury.
Editorial Staff

Protests then did nothing but prolong
for seven years the lives of Sacco and
Vanzetti. It is certainly questionable
whether protests now will alter the fate
of the Harrisburg six or of Angela Davis,
since the government seems intent upon
convicting them. Yet it should be re-
membered that Bobby Seale, Huey New-
ton and Erika Huggins all underwent po-
litical trials and walk free now. It seems
likely that public outcry and demonstra-
tions of support in these cases aided the
But in the meantime, there is no jus-
tification for the abuse perpetrated by
the present system of discretionary bail.
Now, a judge may free on bail a suspect
accused of, perhaps, armed robbery, while
denying bail to someone like John Sin-
clair, accused .of possessing marijuana,
or Angela Davis, charged, in essence,
with owning guns.
Thus, the judge can decide to free on
bail a person charged with a crime con-
sidered socially unacceptable, enforcing
the assumption of innocence until guilt
has been shown. But at the same time, a
person accused of a crime considered po-
litically unacceptable is generally not
freed on bail - effectively rendering that
person guilty unless proven innocent.
Where political preference - which
should be a matter of individual choice -
becomes mandated by the state through
its judicial system, then individual choice
loses its power and political views outside
the current mainstream become sup-
pressed. That is what has happened in
the current crop of political trials, and
that is what happened fifty years earlier
to Sacco and Vanzetti.
STILL, IT IS crucial that large groups
mobilize in support of both the Har-
risburg Six and Angela Davis. It is indeed
possible that even the most conservative
justices might be influenced by massive
public outrage at the flimsy evidence
upon which these cases are built.
For a nation, which proudly proclaims
that it is founded upon freedom, to sup-
press vigorously and systematically op-
position thought is less than honest. For
that same nation to sanction criminal
proceedings in response to opposing mili-
tary conscription or for existing as a
black woman Communist is inexcusable.
Placing the Harrisburg defendants and
Angela Davis in the criminal dockets are
acts that should, thus, be met with vig-
orous and systematic opposition.
Landers on pot
EVEN ANN LANDERS has joined the
band wagon. Referring to current drug
penalties, she writes:
"I've had letters from teenagers and
their parents that make you wonder
whether such things could happen in
America. The laws pertaining to mai-
juana are still archaic and inhumane in
most states."
Ever wonder how many legislators
around the country read Ann Landers?

FRANK AND AL were sitting in Frank's
office on the top floor of the Institute
for Good Works building. It was a fine
new building, ten stories tall, which at-
tested to the success of the Institute.
The purpose of the Institute was to do
Good, and both Frank and Al, who were
co-directors, were proud of their record
in that area.
When it was founded ten years ago, the
Institute did Good by sending its staff
members to area hospitals where they
read stories to hospitalized children, eight
years old and under.
Due to progressive leadership on the
part of Frank and Al, the institute f i r s t
expanded its operations to include, a 11
children up to age 1A, and then to include
everyone. Of.course, there were problems
at first. Most children over age 10 were
not anxious to hear about The Little Engine
that Could and neither were the adults.
However, the Institute eventually managed
to gather a variety of reading materials
ranging from Cowboy Sam and the Ind-
ians through The Hardy Boys at B 1 a c k
Snake Island; through Silas Marner to Lord
Jim and Rabbit Redux and the Feynman
Lectures on Physics. And everyone was
Institute readers were now in every
hospital in the city and they even branshed.
out to reading at local boys clubs and civic
HOWEVER, all was evidently not well.
Frank and Al had heard that some insti-
tute staff members were not happy and
had formed a group called Persons to End
Story Telling (PEST). Instead of stomping
down hard on the dissident staff members,
Frank and Al decided to show their pro-
gressive and liberal natures by discussing .
the issues with PEST members. They were
now waiting for two PEST representatives.

"Yes, indeed," rejoined Frank. "It is
through books that the greatest thoughts
of the greatest minds this world has 'evr
seen are disseminated to the great masses
of our population."
"We never questioned that there is some
good to reading," said Cedric. "What we
are saying is that there are other ways
to do Good.. "We need to take Goodness
to the people. All the people aren't if= hos-
pitals or Rotary clubs. We have to strive for
innovative goodness."
"I'm not sure that your idea of Good
is very good," said Frank. "We have an
Institute policy of signing an agreement
with whatever organization wants readers.
Now, are you going to be' signing an agree-
ment with everyone you help out on the
"We hadn't planned, to," said Sam. "But
then, we aren't going out on the streets
to read stories to people either."
"How do you know the people on the
streets want to be helped?" asked Al.
"IT'S BEEN MY observation, especially.
in the case of old ladies, that they all yell ,
'help', just before getting hit by cars, ,buses
or trucks," said Sam.
"You don't say?" mused Frank. "So
you assume that these old ladies would pre-
fer not to be hit by the cars, buses and
"That's right." said Frank. "We plan
to help them cross the streets."
"You're certainly free to help people
cross streets in your free time," said Al.
"Cf course, this would be strictly outside
cf working hours."
"You're missing the point," said Cedric.
"We want to help people cross streets ,as
part of the regular Institute program."
"Absolutely not." said Al.
"We'll think about it," said Frank.



Sam and Cedric soon appeared for the
discussions. Frank poured a round of car-
rot juice, and the four sat down to talk
"Now," Frank said, "I understand you
gentlemen are unhappy with our policy of
promoting goodness."
"Well, that is not exactly accurate," said
Sam. "We are unhappy with the Institute
policy of only promoting Goodness by read-
ing to sick people in the hospitals."
"That's not quite true,' said Al. "We also
read to Boy Scout troops, the Rotary Club,
and numerous other civic and fraternal

-Daily-Sara Krulwich
"Nonetheless." said Cedric, "There seems
to be an assumption that reading to people
is the only way to do Good."
"Do you have any better ideas?" asked'
"Yes," said Sam. "We'd like to go out to
the community and, help old ladies and
small children cross the streets."
"That's interesting," Frank said, not
knowing quite what to say.;
"WE'VE ALWAYS dcne Good by reading
to people." said Al. "Reading is the pri-
mary method by which knowledge is trans-
mitted from one person to another."


Soledad trial: The heat goes on



Managing Editor

STEVE KOPPMAX ..........Editoria Page Editor
RICK PERLOIT .... Asseciate Editorial Page Editor
PAT MANORET .... Assistant Editorial Page Editor
LARRY LEMPERT ...... Associate Managing Editor
LTNN WEINER.........Associate Managib1g Editor-
ANITA CRONE......... ............ Arts Editor
JIM mRW7N................. Associate Arts Editor
OBERT CONROW .....................Books Editor
JANET FRET................ Personnel Director
TERRY MCCARTRT .........Photography Editor
NIGHT EITORS: Pat Hauer, Rose Sue Berstein,
Lindsay Chaney, Mark Dillen, Sara Fitzgerald,
Tammy Jacobs, Alan Lenhoff, Arthur Lerner, Hes-
ter Pulling, Robert Schreiner, W.E. SChrock, Geri
OOPY EDITORS: Linda Dreeben, Chris Parks. Gene
Robinlson, Paul Travis.
DAY EDITORS: Robert Barkin, Jan Benedetti, Mary
Kramer, John Mitchell, Hannah Morrison, Beth
OberIelder, Tony Schwartz, Gloria Jane Smith,
Charles Stein, Ted Stein, Marcia Zoulaw.
purhenn, Janet Gordon, Daniel Jacobs, Judy Rus-
kin, Lynn Sheehan, Sue Stephenson, Karen Tink-
lenberg, Rebecca Warner.
Business Staff
JAMES STOREY, Business Manager
RICHARD RADCLIFFE........Advertising Manager
SUEANNE BOSCRAN..................Sales Manager
ANDY GOLDING ..... Associate Advertising Manager
Sports Staff
MORT NOVEC Sports Editor
TERRI FOUCHEY ....... Contributing Sports Editor
#ETSY.MAHON. .............. Senior Night Editor
SPORTS NIGHT EDITORS:4Bill Alterman, Bob An-
trews, Saudi Genis, Joel Greer, Elliot Legow,
John Papanek, Randy Phillips, Al Shackelford.

HERE USED to be three Sole-
dad Brothers - George Jack-
son, John Cluchette, and Fleeta
Drumgo. Then as Bob Dylan puts
it: "Lord, Lord, they shot George
Jackson down."
. Right now, in San Francisco, the
two remaining Soledad Brothers
are on trial, accused of murdering
John Mills, a white guard, at
Soledad Prison, in January 1970.
Immediately prior to the killing
of Mills, racial tensions at the pri-
son were higher than usual. After
a prison yard fight between blacks
and whites, a group of black
"troublemakers" -but no whites
- was thrown into "solitary con-
finement. A few days later, Mills
was beaten td death on the third
tier and thrown down to the first.
Jackson, Cluchette and Drumgo;
all black activists, were indicted
for murder. Radicals immediately
charged a political frameup. If
convicted, the two remainingde-
fendants face a mandatory death
sentence under California law.
WE ARRIVED at the S an
Francisco Hall of Justice on Jan.
4. In order to enter the building
everyone must empty their pockets
and walk through a metal de-
tector to be admitted to the build-
ing. If the metal detector blips,
the prospective spectator is frisk-
One of our party had steel-toed
work boots; the detector went off,
he was frisked. Another had a
coat with large metal buttons; the
detector caught her and she was
made to walk through again with-
out her coat.
I stepped up to Window I where
a sign said "Passes for the Clu-
chette-Drumgo trial," and asked
for a pass. "I can't give you a
pass until you're standing in that
line," the cop at the window
barked, vaguely motioning behind
me where there was no line. I tried
again. "You're got to stand in line
Michael Castleman is a sociol-
ogy teaching fellow and literary
college senior majoring in litera-

"SOLEDAD BROTHERS" John Cluchette, George Jackson and Fleeta Drumgo are escorted into an
elevator by a guard, left. At right, Fleeta Drumgo.

issue. The prcec"tkn is basing its
case on the testimony of alleged
eye witnesses to Mill's death -
Soledad inmate; wbn will swear
they saw Jackson, Cluchette and
Drumgo kill the guard.
But the defense intends to prove
the testimony has been bought-
that the witnesses have been prom-
ised parole in exchange 'for what
amounts to perjury:
The prosecution hoped the. judge
would rule defense attempts to
prove perjury inadmissible. So
far he has refused to make -uch
a ruling.
THE DAY WE were at the, trial,
the prosecution presented it most
expert expert, a Mr. Elzerman. a
fifteen year veteran homocide in-
vestigator, who did the initial in-
vestigation of Mills' murder! After
an entire day of boring testimony
on blood types, he stated. that he
found no evidence to either in-
criminate or exonerate the 4efend-
Then the defense cross-examined
Mr. Elzerman. "You stated earlier
that you found nothing to either in-
criminate or exonerani the; detelid-
ants. Now.Mr. lzerm an; iato ur
opinion, what evidemie Goulds.You
have possible found to ezoftnete
the defendants?" Elzerman w a a
The defense counsel continued,
"You were only looking for evi-
dence to incriminate someone or
some group for the murder r'of
Mills, is that correct?"
"That is correct."
"COULD YOU have found " any-
thing to exonerate the defendants
or anyone else?"
"And you found nothing to -in-
criminate either defendant?"
"That's right."
"Mr. Elzerman, would you say
that your entire investigation came
up with a big fat zero?"
"I would say so."
And this guy was the prosecu-
tion's best expert.
During one of the recesses, I
went to the bathroom, and read
the grafitti in the stall. One "Die
Niggers." One "Free Angela Dav-
is." One "Avenge George Jack-
son." And with arrows pointing
to the two contradictory political
views, one liberal spirit had writ-
ten "Let's get together." The line
from Dylan flashed through my
mind: "In the halls of justice, the
only justice is in the halls."


before I'll give you a pass," he
said, without looking up.
The five of us caucused, t h e n
drifted in the direction the cop
had pointed and stood still fora
moment. "All right, step up," he
I showed my double identificat on
-driver's license and draft card.
An officer wrote down my name
and permanent address, while
another matched the signatures.
When my out-of-state address was
observed, he asked me where I was
staying. I wasn't prepared for the
question; and blurted out the ad-
dress, then wondered for which file
that information was intended.
NEXT CAME the police f i 1 e
photograph. Everyone admitted to
the trial must have his or her pic-
ture taken unless a picture is on
his or her driver's license.
Then came the frisk for every-
one entering the courtroom, sur-

prisingly cursory for men. Women,
however, were taken behind a
partition, frisked by a female of-
ficer, and made to drop t h e iir
pants. I asked a cop why this was
done, and was told that the police
are not allowed to make internal
searches, but if a weapon were
concealed in a woman's vagina
or ass, the chances are it would
show up as a bulge in her under-
That's funny," I said. "A man
could just as easily have a wea-
pon up his ass or in his crotch
" But the cop didn't have an
Later 'I discovered that there
are five women who come to the
trial every day - Drumgo's
mother, Cluchette's wife, and three
white women from the Angela
Davis - Soledad Brothers Defense
Committee. Now the women's
search appeared in a different
light - harassment.
THE COURT proceedings take
place behind ten panels of bullet-
proof plexiglass held together by
steel beams. The, room is sound-
proofed and the trial is piped in
through a public address system.
The trial participants cannot hear
anything that goes on in the aud-
ience, but observers can be eject-
ed for talking, dozing off, or
There are two closed circuit
television cameras in operation at
the trial. One pans the court, the
other the audience.
All spectators are under another
kind of scrutiny as well. Every
major police department in t h e
country is linked by teletype to
the vast memory banl, of the Na-
tional Crime Lab computer in
Washington, D.C. Each spectator's
rnme is submitted and a record

where the 100 prospective jurors
had plenty of time to prepare
themselves to tell the Court how
impartial they were.
According to one of the Defense
Committee women, a prospective
juror would come in and take the
oath. The defense would ask, "Are
there any blacks in your neigh-
borhood?" "No." "Are there any
blacks in organizations you be-
long to?" "No." "Any blacks on
your job?" "No." "Do you have
any black friends?" "No." Do you
think you could render a fair and
impartial verdict in this .ase?"
"Yes, I have no racial prejudices."
The judge has been better than
the defense had expected, con-
sidering that many San Francisco
judges were friends of the Marin
County judge killed in Aug. 1970
in a kidnap attempt by G e o r g e
Jackson's younger brother Jona-
than. That kidnap attempt resulted
in a number of deaths including
Jonathan Jackson and the judge.
ALTHOUGH THE trial judge has
agreed with the prosecution on a
number of points, he has not ruled
against the defense on one key





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