Eighty-Seven Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Saturday, March 26, 1977 News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
With husband's OK VA
nurse's psychiatric records
By KEITH B. RICHBURG
LAST WEEK, after much agonizing,
we came to the conclusion that
the psychiatric records of Betty Ja-
kim - the VA hospital nurse who
was in charge of the floor where sev-
eral patients were poisoned - should
not be released. It was a difficult
decision to make knowing that the
futures of Filipina Narciso and Leo-
nora Perez - the nurses charged with
the poisonings - might hang in the
balance. But we believed that the
bond of confidentiality between a
doctor and his/her patient can not
be violated under any circumstance.
But the issue has taken a. surpris-
ing turn. Wednesday, Betty Jakim's
husband Emil indicated he wished to
have the records released. His gallant
act has not only, saved the courts
an impossible decision, it may very
well keep Narciso and Perez from rot-
ting in a federal penitentiary.
Betty Jakim confessed to a psy-
chiatrist that she had actually com-
mitted the VA murders, and before
she committed suicide, she left a note
exonerating Narciso and Perez. Should
Jakim's psychiatric records be admit-
ted as evidence, the accused nurses
might be found innocent. Without
those records they could face life im-
prisonment. Since Betty Jakim is
dead, and cannot give permission
herself, Emil Jakim's signature on a
release form should be sufficient to
admit the records to court.
WE ARE NOT advocating a weaken-
ing of laws protecting a patient's
right to confidentiality, but in this
case, where the patient is dead and
her spouse'gives his permission, we
believe the records should be re-
It is true, that the records may
prove nothing Jakim's psychiatrist
said he doesn't believe she commit-
ted the murders. But in a murder
trial, when the futures of two per-
sons are at stake, is one doctor's
opinion enough? Can any stone be
left unturned when a 40-year prison
term might be the punishment for
the poor judgment of a single psy-
chiatrist? And even if the records
do prove nothing, they may convince
the jury that there is reasonable
doubt as to the guilt of Narciso and
Perez, in which case the law stipu-
lates that the defendants must be
Betty Jakim's psychiatric records
may cause some embarrasment to
her relatives, but her husband had
the guts to bear the possible embar-
rassment in an effort to see justice
done. The courts should now show
the same'concern for justice, by sub-
poenaing the records. Filipina Nar-
ciso, and Leonora Perez may thank
them for it.
THEY SAID IT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN. They called it a lost cause and
they condemned it as the final resort of overzealous idealists. But despite
all the verbal prodding and critics' condemnations, the Detroit Plaza Hotel of
the Renaissance Center riverfront complex opened last week amidst ceremony
and the gawking of curious onlookers. What Governor Milliken heralded as a
new beginning for a dying city, some were labeling as the final blow to Detroit's
If the Renaissance Center is the coup de grace, then the upcoming riverfront
stadium will be beating a dead horse. And likewise, if the Center is a new be-
ginning, then the riverfront stadium will put Detroit in competition with Chicago,
Lose Angeles, and "the great cities."~
At any rate, the Detroit City Council has approved the development of a
riverfront all-sports stadium and ground-breaking is scheduled for April. Esti-
mates as to the cost of the stadium vary, but sale of municiple bonds to pay
for the project is already underway. And Detroit Mayor Coleman Young is revelling
in light of another victory for his pet project of downtown revitalization.
DESPITE CITY COUNCIL APPROVAL FOR THE PROJECT however, Young's
riverfront stadium still has an uncertain future. The Detroit Red Wings, the city's
so-called hockey team, have said that they will not use the new arena, blaming
the crime problem in the city and not their own pathetic record as the reason
for low game attendance at the old Olympia Stadium. The Wings are contemplat-
ing a move to the suburbs, leaving the new riverfront stadium without a team
to use it.
During the debate over whether to go ahead with the project, the Mayor
emphasized that the stadium could house other events besides sports - i.e. con-
certs, circuses and the ice capades. The truth of the matter .is that unless the
Detroit Pistons are swooned from their cozy Cobo arena, the new stadium will
not even pay for itself.
Thus has been the problem for all of the downtown revitalization efforts, the
Renaissance Center included. That is, any new riverfront developments must
"steal" their patrons from the existing downtown locales, thereby contributing
to the decay of the very area they are supposed' to be "revitalizing."
The flip side of the same coin is that once you have projects such as the
Renaissance and the stadium, the revenue from conventions and tourism can be
funnelled back into the decaying areas of the city.
WHAT IT BOILS DOWN TO IS A CLASH between long-range comprehensive
planning, and the short-term incremental approach. The long-range planners see
a revitalized Detroit bringing in more money for the entire city. The short-term
planners say why not use the money being spent on revitalization and put it
into the city's decaying neighborhoods in the first place? The clash is likely to
be the major theme of this years mayoral race, with Young defending his stand
on 'revitalization in his bid for reelection. Taking 'the other view will be City Coun-
cilman Ernest Browne.
Browne, who just recently announced his candidacy, says that Young is fore-
saking the neighborhoods in the interest of downtown. And what it comes down
to is a clash of images. Mayor Young, unmarried, projects the image of a "swing-
er." Browne is a "family man."
Young is caustic, prone to
swearing and tactless remarks.
(Example; After the Cobo Hall
incident last August, Young was
seen on the 6:00 news shouting
that he'd be damned if he was r
going to let "a bunch ofhhood-
lums take over this goddamneda
city!") Ernest Brown, quite to rn/K
the contrary, is soft-spoken,
and thinks that the mayor ,-'°-
should be someone who sets al
good example for the children.
formed themselves into matters 72I
of policy - Young is for build-
ing downtown, Browne advo-
cates building up the neighbor-
PROPONENTS of "Ren-Cen"
are claiming that the four of-
fice buildings and the Plaza ho-
tel will not affect downtown.
They say that the center will
attract its patrons from the
ranks of suburbanites who de-
serted the city over the years.
They say that Detroit, with a
blossoming convention business"
(thanks to the Center) will be
able to accommodate more than
The truth of the matter' is that
many of downtown's older build-
ings are losing patrons to the
center, unable to compete with
the lucrative office buildings on
the waterfront. And the city has
already lost the old Hilton hotel,
while the Detroit Cadillac is cry-
Ing out for aid.
For the Renaissance Center to
attract suburbanites, easy ac-
cess to all the major freeways
was made part of the plan.
The Renaissance Center is far
from- complete. The ground'
hasn't been broken yet for the
new stadium. There will be
plenty of time to judge whether
downtown revitalization is worth
it. But if,,interest in downtown
is a measure of worth, then
based on the number of wide-
eyed onlookers who showed up
for the opening of the Plaza,
then the Center has already paid
...and on the lighter
By JEFFREY SELBST
WELL, I SEE THAT THE STATE DEPARTMENT, in a grand gesture prompted
T no doubt by the spirit of the, Helsinki Agreement, is going to allow Elio
Gabbuggiani, the (gasp!) Communist Mayor of Florence Italy, a visit to Detroit;
to help dedicate the Rennaissance Center and to confirm the "sister-city" or some
such incestuous relationship between the two towns.
That nets them the 1977 "nice guy" award. Of course, it is good business for
Detroit to identify itself with that bastion of cultural supremacy, Florence, par-
ticularly for a city with neither pretensions nor accomplishments of an artistic
nature. In my opinion, this Rennaisance cities bit is a little strained.
Lest I be immediately written off as a Detroit-hater, let me assure that this
is not the case. But while on the one hand Detroit is trying, to effect a rebirth
of sorts, particulary having gone through its own Dark Ages, (and apt com-
parison - riots, pillaging, looting), I could scarcely begin to compare the Alex
Pollack murals to the Sistine Chapel.
Miranda ruling reprieve:
Civil Rights last gasp.
THIS IS MORE THAN NIT-PICKING. The real issue has to do with the gov-
ernment's flip-flop of the question of letting Gabbuggiani into the country.
This all harkens backs to a) the law that prohibits wicked commies from
visiting (re: corrupting) the fair shores of the New World, then b) the State
Department's petulant decision to declare certain portions of the U.S. off limits
to Russia in retaliation for (and in exact proportion to) the territory of the
U.S.S.R. that is off limits to running dog Americans. It is no coincidence that
Detroit is one such place, and everyone knows that a Commie is a Commie, right?
Now I suppose there is something to be said for keeping national defense
secrets a secret; but the Renaissance Center is hardly something that can be
hushed up. A first strike it isn't.
Well, I think I've' got the idea. Really, this goes back to last summer, when
I visited the still unfinished Center with another Daily writer, to do a piece on
the complex. We and a group of visiting German businessmen were shown a scale
model of the projected Center, and the guide remarked to us that at 70-odd stories,
the Plaza would be the world's tallest hotel. The businessmen began talking to
each other in rapid German. My friend nudged me and whispered, "Next year,
Frankfurt will have a seventy-five story hotel."
THAT MUST BE IT. THE U.S. GOVERNMENT didn't feel that it could re-
sponsibly allow the mayor of a Communist city in to steal the secret of How To
Build A Big Hotel. God knows
the Reds are all in cahoots.
There will be a brassy new 80-
story hostelry in Moscow by
i1979.Built with compressed in-
dustrial wastes. How's that for
Another possibility is that Gab-
buggiani is setting into motion
a Red plot to kidnap Ren-Cen
architect John Portman, tie him
un, and force him to see slides
v1" of socialist realism architecture,
brainwashing him into spreading
the Communist aesthetic doc-
trinle of Dominant Ugly across
'I -----the fair shores of our land.
Insipid hogwash. Jimmy Car-
ter has pledged to rid the gov-
erment of stupidity, red tape,
"'~ ~ bureaucracy, and nonsense. It
occurs to me that a Kissinger-
run Foggy Bottom would refuse
'. \ Gabbuggiani a visa.
The Carter crew, on the oth-
er hand, is allowing him entry,
a fact just released Wednesday.
This is only proper. Which leav-
es only one question at stake.
IS THIS, IN FACT, a grand-
standing attempt by Coleman
,Young, mayor of Detroit and
alleged flaming radical in his
salad days, to take on the pow-
ers that be, win back the hearts
of errant Motor Cityites, and
capture the re-election he so
Oh, of course. Don't be silly.
Young has everything to gain
by identifying Detroit with Flor-
ence. One wonders just what
Florence hopes to gain by this
dubious exchange (crass way to
look at things?). Idelogical vic-
tory of sorts?
The Affaire Gabbuggiani has
only made Page. 3 of the Free
Press, which must make Young
a little unhappy. Besides, " there
never was any fight. It's hard
to play underdog when nobody's
Not to worry. Coleman Young
has prevailed, and the Mayor of
Florence will cut the ribbon in
mid-April. At least let us hope
that Young has the good taste
to roll out the red carpet. Ho,
rJME SUPREME COURT has 'given
the Miranda rule a reprieve. In
ruling this past Wednesday to over-
turn the murder conviction of an
Iowa man, on grounds that police
denied him the presence of counsel
during questioning, the high court
dashed hopes of lawmakers that the
Miranda rule would be scuttled.
Before the Court announced its
decision, Miranda was given a very
poor chance of survival. The conser-
vative-dominated Burger court has
been nullifying much of the crim-
inal rights decisions of the Warren
court,' its liberal predecessor.
The court didn't actually uphold
the Miranda rule; what it did was
to evade applying it to the case,
focusing instead, on the violation of
constitutional rights by Iowa police.
Recent decisions of the court have
sharply reduced a suspect's rights be-
fore and after arrest. Attorneys for
Iowa, urged on by briefs filed by 22
states, implored the court to scuttle
We have oftentimes stated our po-
sitions that the Miranda rule must
stand. The implications to justice if
it were abolished were made frighten-
ingly clear by Iowa Attorney General
Richard Turner when he claimed that
a certain amount of trickery and de-
ceit should be allowed during inter-
rogation of suspects and prisoners,
to find the truth.
BUT WHERE IS THE LINE to be
drawn? What amount of deceit
and trickery is Turner and his kind
advocating? And, to carry his line of
reasoning one step further - if the
trickery and deceit fail, then maybe
certain amounts of torture and coer-
cion might be necessary.
The laws of this country are de-
signed in such a way as to place the
burden of proving guilt upon the
prosecution. This is as it should be.
While it is deplorable that people who
are obviously guilty of crimes should
escape free of punishment, because
of a technicality, there is no reason
that a police investigation cannot be
conducted properly, and still achieve
its end. If not, then the police are
guilty of committing crimes on the
same scale with those they are em-
powered to deter.
The Supreme Court has' allowed
Miranda to continue for a while, at
least. Civil liberties lawyers may
breathe a temporary sigh of relief.
But not for long. By not ruling on
the case in terms of the Miranda
rule, the court has left defendant's
rights hanging precariously. If they
allow Miranda to fall, can a police
state be far behind?
News: Brian Blanchard, David Good-
man, George Lobsenz, Stu McCon-
nell, Jenny Miller, Patti Montemur-
ri, Jim Tobin,
Editorial Page: Michael Beckman, Ken
Photo: Alan Bilinsky
keep -fhe. motion
of I ,st
IF ONE MORE PERSON sidles up to me and asks
if I believe in salvation through Jesus, I think I'll
plotz. The same goes for anyone who tries to enlighten
me on the advantages of yoga or the benefits of "moon-
ie" mind control. Enough I say!
Why do people insist on ramming their religious
beliefs down other people's throats? What right do they
have to impinge on my right to follow a faith of my
own free choosing?
I recall an incident that occurred last summer. I
was walking with a friend through Washington Square,
in Greenwich Village. A large crowd was watching the
Hare Krishna's exhibiting various aspects of their cul-
ture and asking for donations to their coffers. A young
Jesus freak in attendance approached us and asked:
"Do you believe in Jesus?"
We replied: "No, we're Jewish." The tone of our
response implied that there was no more to say on
the subject. Or so we thought.
But the man persisted. "Why don't you believe in
Thinking our first answer sufficient, we repeated it.
IT APPARENTLY didn't satisfy him, for he im-
mediately launched into a diatribe, during which he
assailed Judaism and proclaimed belief in Jesus as
nor along the walk, we received identical verbal mug-
gings to the one described above.
You might pass this incident off as simply an
overzealous group of people that we happened to run
into on that particular day. And being that it hap-
pened in Greenwich Village ...
to kill them if their demands weren't met. Prominent
among these demands was that the movie, Muhammed:
Messenger of God, not be shown by theatres.
THIS METHOD GOES FAR BEYOND simple per-
suasion. For the duration of the siege, the movie was
indeed not screened. Bolstered by this success, what
is to stop other evangelical sects from applying these
coercive tactics? The ugly spectre of history, dotted
with forced conversions and religious crusades, does
not seem beyond the realm of possibility.
When people reach the point where they start tell-
ing us what we can or cannot view or believe, and are
willing to enforce their wishes viouently, then I sug-
gest that maybe a re-evaluation of their religious be-
liefs is in order, and laws should be enacted to ban
all forms of proselytizing.
I have nothing against people getting into their re-
ligion. I hold certain religious beliefs, and they are
important to me. What I do object to is people try-
ing to force their views on me, and people trying to
convert me to their religion. I realize that some relig-
ions have fundamental doctrines calling for their ad-
herents to proselytize. I suppose that if they want to
try and ,talk- to me, it is within their right to do so.
But if I make it clear that I do not wish to discuss
BUT IT WAS NOT AN ISOLATED occurence. On
several occassions; in airports, bus terminals, and here
in Ann Arbor, I have been accosted and asked - make
that urged - to see the light and convert to the solici-
tor's religion. This past week on the Diag, we have
been treated to evangelical testimonials concerning