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January 22, 1977 - Image 10

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-01-22

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~i 3r4&n un t
Eighty-Seven Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Saturday, January 22, 1977

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
Support special ed millage

ON MONDAY, January 24, a spe-
cial millage vote , will be held to
decide whether to add 1,5 mills to
the Washtenaw County millage for
support of special education services
and programs for ten county school
The vote is an extremely crucial
one, and The Daily strongly urges
the Michigan student body to turn
out in large numbers and help pass
the millage.
Due to the reluctance of the state
legislature to allocate sufficient funds
to support special education pro-
grams, local school systems are faced
with the difficult task of raising from
30 to 40 per cent of the necessary
monies through general education
millages. This puts a severe strain
on the school systems ability to main-
tainpresent programs, let alone vital
minimal exbansion.
Special education serves a two-fold
purpose. Students who are unable to
meet the normal graduation require-
ments of a standard school program
are placed in specially designed pro-
grams. And, students who are in the
regular program, but due to impair-,
ments are not able to progress at a
normal rate towards graduation, are
aided by special education services.
BOTH OF THESE important educa-
tional aides are in jeopardy of

being swept aside or curtailed if the
millage doesn't pass.
If the millage passes, all of the
added costs of maintaining these pro-
grams and services could be covered.
The school systems wouldn't have to
dip into their general funds to make
up the present deficit.
Students with special handicaps
deserve the same chance to receive
a quality education as anyone else.
This chance is now in danger, and
the strong support of the University
community, in the form of an af-
firmative vote for the millage could
be the deciding factor in determin-
ing whether or not it passes.
So please, help give these handi-
capped students a shot at a decent
education and a decent future. Vote
in favor of the special education mil-
lage on Monday. Ballots can be cast
at the regular polling places.
News: Phil Bokovoy, Greg Krupa, Ann
Marie Lipinski, Stu McConnell,
Martha Retallick, Tim Schick, Mar-
garet Yao
Editorial Page: Michael Beckman
Arts Page: Lois Josimovich
Photo Technician: Alan Bilinsky

THE GORY DETAILS of the Gilmore
execution has been communi-
cated to millions of Americans who have
reacted with disgust, excitement, shame
and satisfaction. But one question re-
mains - are we as a nation better off
now that Gilmore is dead or have we
lost something?
Years into the future, historians will
lay this question to rest. Statistics on
the deterrent effect of capital punish-
ment will play a key part in shaping
this answer. If murder rates drop sig-
nificantly, they will hail the courage of
those that invoked a stiff penalty despite
the controversy it aroused. If murder
rates show no appreciable change or if
they increase, then these very same peo-
ple will be condemned as ruthless bar-
WE ARE NOT years into the future,
yet we must answer this question as
decisively as if we were. The capital
punishment question begs attention by
the controversy it arouses, yet no one
seems able to put forth an indisputable
argument for either side. Not even the
judiciary seems to be united on the is-
,sue - witness the legal seesawing that
went on before Gilmore was finally exe-
There is no indisputable, logical ar-
gument for or against capital punish-
ment. And there never will be. Both
arguments are strictly inductive and all
that will happen in future years is that
their probability will be increased or
But this change in probability is ev-
ery bit as powerful as an indisputable
argument. It is precisely this change that
brings about crucial, national decisions:
The decision to re-arm in the 1930's, the
decision to end Prohibition, the decision
to pull out of Vietnam. The weight of
the evidence is the crucial factor.
ment cite the fear of death as a deter-
rent to criminal conduct. They say those
who have killed deserve no mercy and
that society comes out ahead if these'
criminals are executed,
While this attitude may be appealing,
the hard evidence for it is scant. Unless
and until strong statistics lend support
to this hypothesis, it should be construed
as nothing more.
The only solid evidence we have to
date is that the rate of crime increase
showed no appreciable change in the
late 60's when capital punishment was
unofficially banned.

penalty: A

If and when it can be shown that cap-
ital- punishment for murder will lower
the murder rate, then, and only then,
will it be time to enact the death pen-
alty. To invoke such a penalty absent
of supporting evidence is to waste hu-
man life on a hunch.
IT SEEMS THAT the argument for
capital punishment is based on the theory
that criminals who murder act ration-
ally. But if murder is motivated by
means other than rationality then the
picture becomes entirely different.
If a person who murders is not in-
fluenced by capital punishment threats
but rather by a miserable upbringing
then capital punishment will not de-
crease the crime rate. What it will do
is kill a substantial number of people
who are disturbed enough to murder.
These people tend to come from the
lower economic classes and they tend
to be non-white. And so the ugly spec-
tre emerges of a disproportionate num-

ber of black males, on death row in a
predominantly white society while the
murder rate does not go down.
If this motivation theory is correct
then it becomes very difficult to deny
that there are racist overtones to our
system of capital punishment. The evi-
dence, while no means conclusive, does
lend some support to the hypothesis: a
disproportionate amount of the prisoners
on death.-.ow across the nation are black.
And nothing about the American murder
rate appeared different after the execu-
tions stopped in the late 60's.
TO BE SURE, the murderers in our
prisons and jails deserve no sympathy.'
They have killed in cold blood. They
have left children parentless and they
have left parents childless.
The argument against execution is
that we will lose more than we will
gain by operating legalized, government-
run death houses.
Are we trying to decrease violence or


are we trying to increase violence? The
boob tube is filled with bloodspilling and
shoot-outs. And now the front pages de-
pict death rituals that cannot be de-
scribed as anything but medieval.
Black hoods for the victims, enclosed
cubicles for the executioners, legal de-
crees for the audience - the only thing
modern about the ceremony is the use
of twentieth century rifles.
PEOPLE SUCH AS Gary Gilmore have
no place in society. They murder wan-
tonly - the} are a threat to life. They
belong behind bars. A system that pa-
roles such.individuals surely seems mis-
guided. A system that executes these
people without knowing that it will help
seems even worse off.
In, monetary terms it is much cheap-
er to murder a murderer than it is to
feed and clothe him for forty or fifty
years. But it may well be that the moral
loss is much greater than the monetary




Yoe AA~
s -

Duncan: Conflict of interest?

THE U.S. ARMED Services Commit-
tee's unanimous confirmation of
Charles Duncan as deputy defense
secretary brings up some questions
about a possible conflict of inter-
est. Duncan has $13 million worth
of Coca-Cola company holdings, he
has held several high executive posi-
tions with the company and the Coca-
Cola company is one of the Army's
chief soft drink suppliers.
This is a rather quiet case of con-
flict of interest, if indeed such con-
flict already automatically exists or
will develop. But the facts speak for
themselves. Can Duncan objectively
allocate future soft drink contracts?
Will Coca-Cola somehow always wind
up being the lowest bidder for such
contracts? Will Duncan's subordin-

ates be predisposed to Duncan's in-
clinations about Coca-Cola and the
IN THE WORLD of business and gov-
ernment, distinctions surrounding
these types of conflict of interest tend
to become obscured by explanations
or assurances that those chosen for
the questionable posts are perfectly
capable of carefully administering
their skills. Those chosen are sup-
posed to be clear-headed, uncompro-
mised and deeply aware of the need
for absolute honesty and common
sense in, their service to a nation.
But the rapid, unanimous confir-
mation of Duncan is a little suspici-
ous. Questions of conflict of interest
are not resolved just like that.

Steve Kursman is a member
Daily Editorial Page staff.

of the

Lette rs



Up witlh the downbeat !

THE BIG SPORT here at the Uni-
versity has always been football.
For years the football team has en-
joyed crowds 100,000 strong, while the
basketball team has resigned itself to
playing in a half empty Crisler Ar-
Editorial positions represent a
consensus of The Daily Editorial staff.
Photography Staff

Paiuline Lubens .....
Birad Benjamin ... .........
Alan Bilinsky..............
Scott Eceker .... .
Andy Freeberg.
Christina Schneider ......

Chief Photographer
Staff Photographer
Staff Photographer
Staff Photographer
Staff Photographer
Staff Photographer

ena. Well, last year's second place
finish in the NCAA basketball tourn-
ment changed all that - every home
basketball game this year is a sell-
out - but the basketball team is
still getting short-changed. The foot-
ball fans are better cheerers.
A few years ago, a member of
the Michigan Band dreamt up a new
cheer. It had a catchy, bouncy rhy-
tym, and ended with a loud "Let's
go Blue!" That cheer caught on, and
many a Rob Lytle romp or Greg
Morton sack has been inspired by this
battle cry. But, since "Let's go Blue"
are the only words to the chant, we
all clap while the band does its part.
And the clap has always come on the
OFFBEAT. Yes basketball fans, the"
offbeat (or upbeat or afterbeat, or
whatever you want to call it). Foot-
ball fans have known this all along,
but not the basketball rooters. Clap-
ping at the basketball games is al-
ways on the downbeat.
NOW WE AT the Daily, don't con-
sider ourselves cheering experts.
Nor do we wish to sound pompous
by telling you when to clap. But we
have based our position on the opin-
ions and actions of some "cheering
experts" - the Michigan Band and
the cheerleaders.
Band director George Cavender,
band members themselves, and even
the cheerleaders all clap on the off-
beat, and we figure they should
The basketball team nas tong
played second fiddle to the gridders,
enn nnwtht fh+v n rP the hPatt,

rape suit
To The Daily:
temporary life are still a mys-
tery to many adults. Prince
.Ranier's "rape" suit is a ridi-
culous prank, as disgusting as
it is remarkable. Can an adult
exercise privileges over her
body? Where do the rights of
parents end? The respect of
the man must also be taken to
account. How could he expect
such treatment? Can consent-
ing adults act of their own vo-
The repressive rape laws of
the male - dominated society
were long strict and ineffic-
ient. The society is built on the
premise that. parents (fathers)
still sell their daughters for
political or monetary gain.
Sexual objects in a literal
sense. Prince Rainer's' daugh-
ter, Princess Caroline has been
an international celebrity. But
her exceptional intelligence and
stuhnning poise would lead one
to believe her canable of con-
ducting her own life. The suit
is a degradation to her self-re-
spect and "honour".
really know all the facts of
case. The infantile mind would
soar at the possibilities for two
international jet-setters having
a whirl. Parties do get out-
rageous. Princess Caroline
should be the one to pursue her
private affairs in her manner
by herself. Inequities in the
pig legal system are no excuse.
The Friends of
Princess Caroline
Ann Arbor, Michigan
gun control
To The Daily:F
ary 19 entitled, "Gun control
needed, now" prompted me to
present some facts on the is-
sue of gun control. It seems
that no research was put into
thlat editorial.
Our -society is obviously

plagued with an outrageous
crime rate. But is the banning
of handguns the simple solu-
tion? I doubt it. No gun law
could be stronger than the one
that exists in New York. In
1971, only, 564 handguns were
licensed to persons not involved
in law enforcement. However,
despite these restrictions, in
1973 there were almost twice
as many murders with hand-
guns and more than four times
as many robberies with hand-
gun as in the remainder of the
nation on a per capita basis.
Unfortunately, registering all
handguns goes not seem to de-
ter crime. Here are some
facts: The head of the Michigan
State Police, Col. J. R. Plants
has said that less than one
one hundredth of one per cent
of the guns used in Michigan
crime had been registered as
required by Michigan law. Ap-
parently, registration is not the
SO, where from here? The
citizens of Orlando, Fla. had an
idea. Police trained some 6,000
women in self defense with fire-
arms. The result -- the rape
rate was cut by 50 percent,
furthermore both robberies and
burglaries declined. That year
Orlando was the only city to
show an overall crime de-
Use of this idea was found
closer to home in Highland
Park. After police began a well
publicized firearms training
course for merchants, store
holdups dropped from 1.5 per
day to no robberies at all for
four months. In neither city
did those trained citizens kill
an attacker or even display
their gun in warding off an at-
Can we ban handguns so eas-
ily as you suggest in your edi-
torial? More facts are brought
to bear. There are an estimated
40 million handguns in our
country. Even if the, govern-
ment were to purchase each of

On the Level

these guns for a conservative
50 dollars, the cost would be 2
billion dollars. In addition,
many Americans would not so
easily give up their right to
own a handgun. The resulting
tragedy could be . far worse

than the prohibition of alcohol.
Killing will not .stop by ban-
ning handguns. A simple ans-
wer to crime control doesn't ex-
ist. From the facts we can see
that taking guns from the citi-
zens is not the easy solution to

AS AMERICA MOVES into the third century
A of its existence and the newly seated
government prepares to make its imprint
upon the. course of history, the question of how
well American has sustained the ideals and
institutions hammered out over two hundred
years ago surfaces again and again. It is a
question of fundamental importance in these
times of cynicism and disappointment with
our government, given a temporary injection
of hope with the ascendancy of the Carter ad-
ministration. And it is an exceedingly difficult
question to answer.
This point was driven home to me in a con-
versation I had with a friend about Alexis de
Tocqueville, the great French observer of
American life in the 1830's. My friend was
talking about a paper that he had written on
whether or not American society could be im-
proved, and if so, how could it be effected. His
thesis was that America "is drifting away from
what Tocqueville described as an 'equality
of condition' existing among the people of
America that was at the roots of American
democracy. If this equilibrium was restored,:
America's greatness as a democratic nation
would be restored."
My RESPONSE was that since the Constitu-
tion was ratified in 1789, America has not been
a democracy, that it is in reality a republic,
and that a democracy is as impossible as it is
undesirable. I based this argument of impos-
sibility and undesirability on the premise that
with roughly 200 million people voicing an
opinion and helping* to decide laws and policy,
nothing would ever get done.
We bantered further about these nebulous
concepts of democracy and republics. And
then the full shock of what I had said hit me.
A democracy isn't desirable. We don't live in
a democracy? These statements have fright-
ening implications. After all, weren't we all
weaned on the notion that America was a

nerstone is found to be 'faulty, the structure
Anyway, we continued to wrangle with the
terminology as we walked, and my friend,
who tacitly agreed with my disheartening
assessment of American government, then in-
fused a bit of hope by saying, "Let's juist
call America a democratic republic." We
both laughed and went our ways. But. the'.
idea of the inconsistencies in terminology
continued to upset me. And that is how the
question of whether America is living up to
its origins came to mind.
IS THE TERMINOLOGY really that im-
portant? If the institutions cofitinue to func-
tion, does the ideology behind them matter?
The American revolution was a revolt of the
people against oppressive tyranny. The Declar-
ation of Independence espoused the lofty prin-
ciples of demo:racy, where everyone has a
direct say in the workings of the government.
But the Constitution framed the government
as a republic, a form of government where
the people elect representatives to serve as
their leaders, leaders who make and execute
the laws of the land.
But are the differences between the two
forms that great as to cause a loss of faith
in the state? Upon reflection, I think that they
aren't that important,' in themselves. Our edu-
cation may have misled us in terms of terms,
but as long as they haven't snowed us about
the institutions, then the damage isn't irre-
DO OUR GOVERNMENT institutions still
work after two hundred year? I think so. They
have stood the test of. over two centuries of
history, a history filled with major crises,
schisms and scandals, and yet, basically, they
still stand in their intended form. There are
times when one branch of government ap-
pears to dominate the others, when the peo-
ple seem alienated from the government, and
when designing men have attempted to further

crime. If guns were outlawed,
the protection of many citi-
zens would be lost and only the
criminals would possess the
guns and therefore power over
these citizens.
Chris Stanard

Editorial Staff

Rob Meachuin

Bill Turque

Jeff Ris'ine... . . Managing Editor
Tim Schick ................. . .Executive Editor
Stephen Hersh.................Magazine Editor
Rob Meachum . ............... Editorial Director
Lois Josimv'ich..Arts Editor
Business Staff
Deborah Dreyfuss.............Business Manager
Kathleen Mulnern ... Assistant Adv. Coordinator
David Hatran...............Finance Manager
Don Simpson...........Sales Manager
Pete Petersn...........Advertising Coordinator
Cassie St. Clair............ Circulation Manager
Beth Stratiord .............. Circulation Director
Weather Forecasters
Mark Andrews.................... Mike Gilford
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