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September 11, 1973 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1973-09-11

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T£WI 4, i aU p Da U
Eighty-three years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Revised criminal code:

Same old thing


420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104

News Phone: 764-0552


Resisting the tuition hike

IT SEEMS DIFFICULT for students to be
stirred out of their lethargy these
days by almost anything.
But if there is an issue which should
hit close to home, it is the continually
rising tuition that all must pay.
This year, students received notice in
mid-summer that the University was de-
manding a 24 per cent hike in tuition.
This latest increase comes on top of sev-
eral successive years of tuition increases.
The students who would probably
protest most loudly against the hike are
no longer students-because they cannot
afford to be.
The continual rise in tuition serves to
make a University of Michigan education
unobtainable to ia large number of lower
middle income students, and as such
strengthens the already existing elitism
of the University.
WE URGE ALL students to attend the
tuition forum at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow
in Room 126 of East Quad.
At the forum, the suggested tuition
strike will be discussed. It is obvious that
such a strike could only be effective with
massive support.
It is equally clear, however, that the
only way students can challenge the ar-

bitrary actions the Regents take is
through such a mass-based action.
University officials have argued that
new residency requirements-used as a
rationale for the tuition hike--will re-
sult in a $2.5 million tuition loss to the
University. The 24 per cent raise will
probably bring in almost four timesthat
The Student Action Committee has
also called for the implementation of the
Black Action Movement demands agreed
to by the University more than three
years ago.
FOREMOST AMONG these was a pro-
mise made by the administration to
have at least 10 per cent black enroll-
ment by this fall. Officials have admitted
that level is far from being reached.
The Black Action Movement of 1970
saw the largest mobilization of students
demanding policy change this University
has ever seen.
Just as the Administration agreed to
some of its demands then because of mass
student pressure, it will enforce its de-
cision now only if the same kind of pres-
sure is applied.
What sort of action to take is therefore
the question which confronts us. It is to
decide on an answer that we urge attend-
ance of the East Quad forum.

Trying for a comeback

IM PRESIDENT appealed to the Amer-
ican people Sunday to help him re-
sist what he considers to be the exten-
sion of Congressional power over what
are Presidential responsibilities.
"We must recognize that the American
system requires both a strong Congress
and a strong executive," Nixon said.
It is perhaps amusing that, in a mere
six months, the President has been re-
duced from a position of almost overpow-
ering preeminence over Congress to one
in which he must appeal for public sup-
The Watergate revelations, with their
implications of Presidential involvement,
are cited widely as the chief cause of
Nixon's lessening authority and prestige.
And indeed, the testimony of former
counsel John Dean on presidential para-
noia, the White House authorization of
illegal breaking and entering, and the
possible involvement of Nixon himself in
the Watergate coverup have badly scar-
red Presidential power.
IT IS NOT JUST association with scan-
dal-growing daily with Vice Presi--
News: Bill Heenan, Gene Robinson, Char-
les Stein, Sue Stephenson, David Stoll
Editorial Page: Bill Furniss, Z a c h a r y
Schiller, Eric Schoch, David Yalowitz
Arts Page: Diane Levick
Photo Technician: David Margolick

dent Agnew's case now hitting the front
page-which has brought the turnaround
in Nixon's image and authority.
It is more importantly the complete
lack of control his Administration has
shown over the economy in particular
and the social system generally.
Inflation has climbed to dizzying
heights while talk of recession has begun
to fill the air; the dollar has fallen to a
woeful international position.,
In his speech, Nixon claimed some of
the credit for a purported decrease in
the crime rate-but who can say that
they feel safe in any large city?
At the same time as the President was
delivering his speech, an ex-Surgeon
General who served in the Nixon admin-
istration lambasted the President's
health program and said federal health
affairs were in "a kind of chaos."
ministration cannot be attributed, as
Agnew would have it, to overblown pub-
licity of the Watergate hearings.
It is rather a symptom of Administra-
tion policy generally.
The President may direct the blarme on
Congress, and repeat his seemingly time-
less, slogan: "Our goal is to achieve what
America has not enjoyed since the days
of President Eisenhower-full prosperity
without inflation and without war."
Whomever he blames, the heat will be
on Nixon as long as the crises he has
helped create and nurture continue.

A BILL HAS been kicking around t h e
State Legislature for a couple of years
called the Revised Criminal Code. Having
passed the House of Representatives in
1972, it died in the Senate Judiciary Com-
mittee that year. .
This year, sponsored by 16 state senators
and 13 state representatives, including Ann
Arbor Democrat Perry Bullard, the bill
stands a good chance of being referred out
of committee and being passed by both
The proposed penal code has been touted
as a model of modern and humane justice
by its backers. It is true that the bill would
eliminate many archaic laws now on the
books, some of them dating back to the
1840's, and also would deal with new types
of crime that have developed only recently
such as credit card fraud and electronic
bugging by private individuals.
The sponsors of the bill also cite the
fact that the new code would legalize so-
called "deviate sexual acts" between adults,
referring primarily to homosexuality, as a
progressive feature of the new code.
MANY GROUPS, however, including a
coalition of women's anti-rape organizations
from around the state, the Gay Liberation
Front, the Michigan Civil Liberties Union,
and the Human Rights Party seriously ob-
ject to major portions of the bill. Most of
these groups do not see the bill as bringing
any significant improvement in Michigan's
system of criminal justice without exten-
sive revisions. Some of the objections which
have been raised to the bill are as follows:
" Use of deadly force by police - As it
now stands, the bill would permit a police
officer to use deadly force, i.e., shoot to
kill, in the apprehension of anyone suspect-
ed of havinb committed a felony, whether
the alleged crime itself involved endangering
human life or not.
An example of an allowable use of deadly
force would be for a police officer to shoot
to kill someone who had shoplifted a spiral
notebook from a store (larceny from a
building, a Class C felony) and refused to
heed the officer's warning to stop. As the
Civil Liberties Union puts it,
Kids know
what it's
all about
jT'S GETTING harder and harder to ex-
plain things to your kids. Yesterday I
take my daughter, who is 9, to see the
East River. I'm telling her stories of the
great days of the old Port of New York,
the sailing ships and the chandlers' of-
fices and men with peglegs fighting on
the sidewalks outside the grog shops. And
then, as a Circle Line boat comes along,
slicing its way up the river, we see a guy
reading a paper. The headline says: NIX-
"What does it mean, 'bugged'?" the little
girl asks. "You mean being sneaky and
listening to people when they don't know
it?' Something like that, I say. And the
little girl says: "But why would he do that
to his brother? That's like me d o i n g
that to Adriene!"
Adriene is her sister. I try to explain,
but it gets more difficult. Richard Nixon
has this brother Donald, I say, and he
thought that Donald was connected with
Howard Hughes and ... it's impossible. The
President of the United States was bugging
his own brother! What is next? His wife?
His kids? If he bugs hisbrother he would
bug anybody, and probably did.
"Did they catch Nixon yet?" I heard
one of them saying one afternoon, playing
in the sunshine in front of the house. Ano-

ther Brooklyn kid says: "No, he's hiding
out." It must have been the way kids talk-
ed in the '30s about Dillinger.
Children are not the possessors of wisdom;
that is supposed to be the province of the
mature. But they do ask questions, and it
has been a summer during which answers
have not been easy to provide. The child-
ren know that America is a rich country.
And yet you ride with them through Browns-
ville and can give no real answer to an
11-year-old who wants to know why there
are so many poor people in New York.
"I thought only India was poor and places
like that," she says. But she is in New
York, and the blocks roll by, the yards and
devastated lots covered with rubble. You
learn more looking around than you do,
in the civics books. Some of the lessons
are tough.
THEY ARE GOING to be tougher than
ever, if Nixon and his shabby little gang
get away with all of this. The papers are
full of stories about how Nixon has now
taken the offensive, how he thinks Water-
gate is behind him.
BUT ALL THOSE children might be the
biggest losers after Watergate. At least
in our generation there were politicians
around who inspired belief and hope, men
like Fiorello and FDR. These kids are grow-
ing up thinking that leaders, especially
Presidents, are liars, military killers, pro-
tectors of felons and perjurers, and the kind

Life is thus valued cheaper than pro-
perty, and any degree of force used by
an apparent offender in committing a
felony against persons or property,
even where there is no prospect of
bodily injury to another person, auto-
matically exposes him to summary exe-
cution at the hands of the police. This
indiscriminate legitimization of the use
of deadly force is repugnant to a civil-
ized society which values human life
and is inconsistent with the spirit of the
constitutional prohibition against the
taking of human life without due pro-
cess of law.
* Abortion - The new code would make
abortion, except where necesary to save
a woman's life, a Class C felony, punish-
able with up to five years imprisonment.
Given the recent U.S. Supreme Court de-
cision on abortion, it is doubtful whether
this would be enforcible.
* Women's rights - gay rights - Un-
der its civil rights section, the code would
outlaw discrimination on the basis of sex
in employment, but not in public accom-
modations, and does not mention discrim-
ination against homosexuals at all.
It should be pointed out that the Uni-
versity as a state institution is governed
by the state law, and not by Ann Arbor's
more progressive Human Rights Ordinance
which prohibits such discrimination. Thus,
the big 'U' would be permitted to continue
its well-publicized practice of barring gay
people from "sensitive positions" within the
0 Rape - Although the proposed code
makes some superficial changes in the
current state rape law such as setting up
a system of degrees of rape, it leaves un-
changed the essential structure of the exist-
ing law which treats the rape victim like
a criminal and contributes to a phenomen-
ally low reporting rate for.that crime (esti-
mated by authorities to be from 5 per cent
to 35 per cent of actual offenses.)
Two of the main problem areas in the
present rape law as well as in the rape
sections of the revised criminal code are the
resistance standard and the admission of
the victim's sexual history in court.

The resistance standard, based upon judi-
cial interpretation of the rape law, requires
that the victim resist "to the utmost" in
order to secure a conviction for rape.
What this leads to is a situation where
women are forced to choose between resist-
ing an attack and risking serious injury or
death, or acquiescing in the face of physical
danger and risking not being able to pro-
secute their assailants.
THE COURTS HAVE also interpreted the
law to allow counsel for the accused rapist
to cross examine the victim about her
prior sexual activities' because they con-
sider this information to have bearing on
her character and her truthfulness as a wit-
This procedure subjects the .victims to
public embarrassment and makes it diffi-
cult to get a conviction if she is sexually
active outside of marriage, and particularly
if she is a lesbian.
The Human Rights Party of Michigan
has adopted a resolution urging the Legis-
lature to amend the Revised Criminal
Code's rape section:
We urge the Legislature . . to include
the following elements in any code that
it adopts: that facts concerning the
personal behavior or sexual habits of
the victim of an alleged forcible rape
not be considered as evidence bearing
on . . . her veracity as a witness; .(and)
that any standard of resistance . . . re-
quire only that the victim's resistance
was reasonable in terms of the danger
that she was subjected to and actual
or implied threats against her or oth-
ers as a result of non-compliance.
Women from around the state, coordin-
ated by the Women's Crisis Center in Ann
Arbor, have been working, on a detailed
alternative to the provisions of the Revised
Criminal Code's section on rape which they
will be presenting to the Legislature later
this fall.
0 Soliciting for "deviate sexual inter-
course" - The revised code follows the
pattern of the. existing laws by making it
an offense to loiter in a public place with
the intention of soliciting others to engage

in so-called "deviate sexual acts."
This provision of the loitering law has
traditionally been used by police to har-
rass and intimidate gay people. The legi-
timization of all forms of sexual activity
between consenting individuals which the
new code supposedly accomplishes is rend-
ered functionally meaningless by the in-
clusion of this provision.
The Gay Liberation Front is pressuring
the Legislature to eliminate this and other
sections of the proposed code which would
perpetuate their legal repression.
* Indeterminate sentencing,- The new
penal code would provide for indeterminate
sentencing for those convicted of felonies.
What this means is that an individual con-
victed of an offense carrying a maximum
of, say, ten years imprisonment would be
sentenced to anywhere from one day to
ten years in prison, depending on the de-
cisions of her/his prison officials and parole
These groups have been shown to rely
heavily on such factors as adjustment to
prison life rather than readiness to return
to life outside in deciding when to release
an individual inmate.
The indeterminate sentence has also fre-
quently been used to silence dissent within
prisons, particularly attempts by inmates to
organize in seeking better conditions such
as mail rights, adequate medical care, and
freedom from brutality.
It is to be hoped that the Legislature will
seriously weigh the criticisms of the new
criminal code proposal that it is receiving
from diverse sources, and that it will incor-
porate the changes that they recommend.
The bill, as it now stands, is only a
very marginal improvement over existing
law, and if this is all our representatives
have to offer, the whole project needs a
trip back to the old drawing board.
David Goodman has been working on the
i-hu nan Rights Party's project on the Re-
vised Criminal Code and is a student at the

AP Photo

' he Gainesville "conspirators"

Only your friends' will tell

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THE TWO MOST recent political trials of
radicals both ended in total victory for
the defendants.
Or so it seemed to the Camden 28 and
the Gainesville 8, both of whom were ac-
The Camden group was charged with sev-
en counts of breaking and entering, de-
stroying draft files and conspiracy, while
the Gainesville defendants were supposed
to have conspired to disrupt the Republican
National Convention last year.
The superficial results of these trials serv-
ed to strengthen the contention of some
that the judicial system is fair and, al-
though not invariably perfect, functions
without overt political bias.
A resume of the two trials, however,
does more to reafirm one's paranoia about
the nation's intelligence network than to
illustrate the purported soundness of the
judicial system.
INFORMERS played key roles in both
At Camden, Robert Hardy served as a
self-admited agent provocateur in helping
the defendants raid local draft files. He
supplied 90 per cent of the necesary equip-
ment, scouted out the building and con-

agency of the planned raid only when it was
agreed the FBI would break up the ac-
tion before it occurred.
AFTER THE FBI failed to arrest the
group during a dry run the .week before
the raid itself, Hardy was told by an FBI
agent that "Someone in a little white house
in California decided the arests were not
to be made that night."
During the trial, another agent testi-
fied that "as standard procedure," the FBI
permitted an informant to "be active within
the group that he is working with," to
the point of supplying expertise and sup-
plies, "as long as there is nothing furn-
ished which would endanger the life of
anybody, such as explosives, firearms, wea-
The Gainesville trial saw five paid in-
formers or agents testify about the defend-
ants' activities.
Emerson Poe, one of the informers, was
the best friend of the purported ringleader
of the disruption, Scott Camil. He even
took part in planning the defense case.
described himself as an undercover serur-

own brother and by Henry Kissinger of
17 of his staff members.
It does, however, lead one to do some
thinking about how widespread the network
of agents and informers must be.
The effect of these two trials was, even
with the acquittals, demoralizing. "In spite
of all this joy and elation," (over the ac-
quittals) Mahoney said, "I can't forget the
government put me through 14 months of
THE GAINESVILLE defendants are thous-
ands of dollars in debt after their trial; one
would not be too surprised to learn that
likewise is true of the Camden group.
Along with earlier political trials - Huey
Newton, Angela Davis, the Berrigans, and
the Chicago 8, to name a few - the judicial
struggle has sapped the energy of those
who might otherwise have been working for
social change.
The effect of these two trials has not been
salutary. That either case should even have
come before a jury is almost absurd.
The Gainesville "plot" -'to disrupt the
GOP convention by attacking police with
slingshots, among other things-was, as
one of their lawyers put it, a bit outland-


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