The Michigan Daily-Saturday, May 19, 1979-Page 13
Governor clears way for Florida executions
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (UPI) -
Florida Gov. Bob Graham signed death
warrants yesterday providing for the
execution next Wednesday of two con-
victed killers, including a man whose
appeal has been turned down by the
Supreme Court three times.
If the executions are carried out,
Spenkelink and Darden would be the
first persons executed in Florida since
1964 and first in the country since Gary
Gilmore was shot by a Utah firing
squad in 1977.
In a sober ceremony, void of
"dialogue or discussion," Graham
signed the necessary papers specifying
that John Spenkelink and Willie Jasper
Darden be put to death in the electric
FLORIDA STATE Prison officials
scheduled the double execution for 7
a.m. Wednesday at Florida State prison
Both men were expected to file ap-
peals, but Assistant Attorney General
Ken Tucker said it was "highly
unlikely" Spenkelink will win a stay
because the U.S. Supreme Court has
upheld his conviction three times.
Darden's conviction also has been
upheld and the U.S. Supreme Court
refused to hear his appeal, but since he
has filed only routine appeals, attor-
neys believe the courts may look more
favorably on any extraordinary case he
"SPENKELINK HAS shot his load
and there ain't nothing left," said John
Carroll of the Southern Poverty Law
Center in Montgomery, Alabama, one
of the groups waging the national fight
against capital punishment.
Spenkelink, 30, was convicted of
killing his traveling companion Joseph
Szymankiewicz in a Tallahassee motel
room in 1973. Both men were wanted by
police, Spenkelink for escaping from a
California prison, and Szymankiewicz
for violating parole in Michigan.
Spenkelink admitted shooting
Szymankiewicz in the head, but said the
killing was in self-defense, and that
Szymankiewicz had forced him to per-
form homosexual acts and play
Russian Roulette with a loaded pistol.
DARDEN, WHO would turn 46 in
two weeks, was convicted of murdering
James Turman, a Lakeland furniture
store owner, during a robbery in 1973.
Florida has the largest death row
population in the nation, 134, but only 10
have been through the final executive
John Polk, head of the Florida
Sheriff's Association, hailed the
decision, calling it "long overdue."
I'm not comparing human lives to
horses, but in the days when they hung
horse thieves, they didn't have many
horses stolen," Polk said.
Profits decrease in first quarter due to inflation
profits rose moderately in the first
three months of 1979, but after adjust-
ment for inflation they showed the first
decline in a year, the government said
Meanwhile, the Commerce Depar-
tment revised its growth rate for the
nation's economic output in the first
quarter downward, from 0.7 per cent to
0.4 per cent.
The reduction in the gross national
product reading, which measures the
value of all the nation's goods and ser-
vices, adds further evidence that the
economy is cooling. This, economists
say, could help reduce inflation in the
TIlE CORPORATE profit figures are
important because they help determine
how much capital business has
available for future investments and
how much it can pay in dividends to at-
tract new capital.
Profits in the first quarter totaled a
record $226.9 billion on an annual basis,
up 0.9 per cent from the $224.9 billion in
the fourth quarter of 1978.
And the first-quarter figure, which
measures profits before taxes, was
$54.8 billion, or 32 per cent above the
rate of the first quarter of 1978.
BUT COMMERCE Department of-
ficials and the leaders of major
business groups were quick to note that
the apparent profit gain was illusory.
When adjusted for inflation's effect
on inventories and capital investments,
profits actually showed a drop of 6 per
cent from an annual rate of $176.6
billion in the fourth quarter of 1978 to
$166.0 billion in the first quarter this
With both inventory and tax adjust-
ments, first-quarter profits were at an
annual $76.9 billion, down 6.4 per cent
from the previous quarter.
"THE WHOLE MATTER might be
University law Prof. Harry Edwards
has been elected chairman of the board
of Amtrak, the National Railroad
The appointment, which was announ-
ced in Washington, D.C. last month, is
for a term continuing through July 1980.
While assuming the post, Edwards will
continue his teaching duties at the
University Law School.
EDWARDS SUCCEEDS Amtrak
chairman Donald Jacobs, dean of the
Graduate School of Management at
Since 1977 Edwards has served as one
of seven members of Amtrak's board of
directors who are appointed by the
placed in more neutral perspective by
comparing last quarter's profits with
those for the full year 1977," said a
statement from Jerry J. Jasinowski, an
assistant commerce secretary. "From
that level they have risen by 6.5 per
cent. If we correct for inflation ... after
tax profits from current production
has declined by about 5 per cent since
George Hagedorn, chief economist of
the National Association of Manufac-
turers, agreed. "Business corporations
are among the victims, rather than
Law prof Amtrak chairman
President. A total of 13 serve on the
A member of the University law
faculty since 1970, Edwards is a
specialist in labor law with long ex-
perience in arbitration cases.
HE HAS SERVED as vice president
of the National Academy of Arbitrators
and as a member of the board of direc-
tors of the American Arbitration
Edwards' books include "The
Lawyer as Negotiator" and "Labor
Relations Law in the Public Sector." A
new book, "Higher Education and the
Law," will be published this summer by
among the causes, of our current high
infltion rates," he said.
Added Jack Carlson, chief economist
for the U.S. Chamber of Commece:
"The Commerce Department's profits
data show that profits are too slow,
which has caused inadequate invest-
ment in modern equipment and struc-
tures, resulting in slower growth of the
output of 100 million workers and
business people, resulting in slower
growth in people's incomes and
resulting in 1.5 per cent to 2 per cent
higher inflation rates each year."
Harvard University Press.
Edwards graduated from Cornell
University in 1962 and received his law
degree from the University in 1965. He
recently received Cornell's eight an-
nual Judge William B. Groat Alumni
Award honoring his work as "teacher,
lawyer, writer and labor arbitrator."
He worked for five years with the
Chicago law firm of Seyfarth, Shaw,
Fairweather & Geraldson before
joining the University law faculty.
The crossed eyes of silent film
comedian Ben Turpin were insured for
$500,000-in case they uncrossed.
New in town?
For the latest in news, entertainment,
sports ... you should subscribe to
Call 764-0558 to order your subscrip,
tion ... delivered to your door Tues-
Ann Arbor's Oldest And
Finest Natural Foods
Ann Arbor Sunday Brunch