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May 23, 1979 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1979-05-23

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Page 2-Wednesday, May 23, 1979-The Michigan Daily
Judge delays one
(Continued from P'age 1)
Court Justice William Rehnquist do nothave the courage to face not only
refused to grant a stay of execution. the issue of the death penalty, but the
The fullcourt had rejected Spenkelink's issue of discrimination as well," he said
appeal four times. in his statement, issued before Darden
Spenkelink's attorneys sought won his reprieve. Darden is black.
another U.S. Supreme Court justice in Spenkelink is white.
hopes of winning a stay. Spenkelink-scheduled to die at 7
Spenkelink, described by visitors as am. today-asked to see the governor
"serenie," issued a statement through or the attorney general. "It seems to
an attorney. me that if he is to judge me, he should
"I always had a lot of faith in this know me," hesaid.s p e
counry ad is corts, hesaid "I Florida State Prison Superintendent
country and its courts," he said. "I David Brierton said he talked with the
guess you'd have to say I've lost some two men early yesterday. He said
of that now.
"NOT THAT I don't love this coun- Spenkelink, who came within 36 hours
try-I do. I just find it hard to believe of execution in September 1977 before
that there are people who would not or appeals saved him, didn't seem ner-

inmate's exeeution
vous. "He's remained pretty constant." had made any special requests, Brier-
ANOTHER VISITOR, the Rev. ton said.
Joseph Ingle of the Southern Coalition Representatives of the major
on Jails and Prisons, said the California television networkds, national news
jail escapes was "probably doing better media, and many Florida based repor.
in terms of composure than we are." ters have also converged here.
Brierton said about 40 inmates-one Spenkelink was convicted of the Feb.
third of the prison population-refused 4, 1973, shooting of a traveling con
their breakfast and lunch yesterday to panion, Ohio parole violator Joseph
protest the executions. Syzmankiewicz, who was killed in a
Today's execution would be the first Tallahassee motel room. He was cap-
in the United States since 1977, and the tured several days later in California.
first of an unwilling prisoner since 1967. Darden was convicted by a Citrus
Flordia's last previous execution was in County jury of the Sept. 8, 1973, shooting
1964. of Lakeland, Fla., furniture store owner
NO FINAL PLANS had been made James Turman.
about a last meal because neither man

Small Diag group holds
quiet vigil for Spenkelink

Holding flickering candle stubs and
sitting on benches at the edge of the
Diag, four men last night kept a vigil in
recognition of the scheduled execution
of John Spenkelink, a convicted mur-
derer, in Florida this morning.
Handlettered signs reading,
"Executions to begin again - San-
ctioned by law" and "Save John
Spenkelink from American Justice,"
were propped against the benches.
THE VIGIL apparently was spon-
sored by the National Alliance Against
Racism and Political Oppression, ac-
cording to John Steinbach, a senior in
the school of Natural Resources. But,
he said, the four men had arrived in-
dependently about 8 p.m. and were not
members of the organization. They said
they heard about a protest through
friends and radio reports.
The waiting men said they expected
members of the alliance to arrive and
expressed disappointment that more
people did not join the chilly wait. "A
life is at stake and nobody comes," said
Pat McCarney, a South Quad custodian.
"Opposition to capital punishment"
and especially the way "the death
penalty is prescribed in the state of

Florida" were some-reasons Steinbach
listed for his own vigil.
STEINBACH SAID he thinks the
death penalty is applied haphazardly,
and blacks and poor people in conser-
vative and rural communities are more
likely to receive the death penalty, than
"His (Spenkelink's) crime is that he
is defenseless and he doesn't have any
money," said Steinbach. "Spenkelink is
a number now, he is dehumanized."
"It's not just this guy'" Carl Levine
explained to three boys who stopped to
ask about the vigil. "Once this guy
goes, capital punishment exists again
in this country."
HE EXPRESSED fear that this
execution would make the death
penalty more common.
The quiet protesters were not sure
how long they would remain at their
post on the Diag. Steinbach said he had
no definite plans to stay until 7 a.m., the
time of the scheduled execution .
With a glance at the short candle in
his hand, McCarney mentioned that he
might stay "until it burns my fingers."
for weekend
(ConnuedfromPage 1)
everybody's cutting back," said Dave
Carlton, owner of Carlton Oil Co. at 2115
S. State St. "But it all depends on how
you manage it - everybody knows
what their monthly allotments are, so if
they run out, ' it's just bad
TORONTO (AP)-Thee National
Ballet of Canada dancers have been
promoted to first soloists with the
They are Esther Murillo, Constantin
Patsalas and Raymond Smith.

A2 faces lawsiit in former
city clerk's dismissal case
(Contisued fromPagewI g review of his case from City Council
the city administrator to put in writing
the reasons for suspending a city officer from the city's personnel grievan
within 24 hours after the action occurs. board.
The charter also requires City Coun- Laidlaw also argued that the city d
cil to either fire or reinstate the officer not deny Weiss of his basic proper
within 30 days. right under the Fourteenth Ame
By not putting his reasons in writing dment, because his job could not 1
within 24 hours, Weiss maintains, considered a basic property right.
Murray denied him due process of the FEIKENS, HOWEVER, agreed wi
law to which he is entitled under the Weiss' attorney, Jay Siefman, thb
Fourteenth Amendment. Weiss'-job could be considered a pie
WEISS CLAIMS Belcher and City of property.
Council also violated the city charter The matter will be decided by ju
because they did nothing about trial in District Court. No trial date h
reviewing his case, although they knew been set.
Murray intended to fire him. Feikens also asked Siefman to subm
He claims City Council denied him a brief supporting Weiss' claim that tI
due process of the law in not taking ac- public statement made by Murray ha
Lion to either fire or reinstate him denied Weiss of his basic right of liber
within 30 days guaranteed under the Fourteent
Weiss also alleges that Murray Amendment, by making it difficult f
damaged his reputation by issuing a him to finda job.
statement to the press after his Feikens will rule next week o
dismissal, whether there is enough evidencet
THE STATEMENT read, "This support Weiss' claim.
change is being made because, in my
opinion, Weiss has not sufficiently Director to be delegate
developed the command and executive
capacity to effectively manage the Dr. Linz Brown, Dearborn region
Department." director for the University Extensi
Weiss said he had received only good Service, has been elected one of 11 Is
reviews on his job record, and had no delegates from Michigan to th
reason to suspect he would be removed National White House Conferenceo
from his position. Libraries and Information Services.
According to one City Council mem- The event is scheduled Nov. 15-19i
ber, Murray received "hundreds of Washington, D.C., with delegate
complaints" concerning Weiss' representing every state and territory
inability to perform well as city clerk. Issues to be considered at th
WEISS PRESIDED over the mayoral national conference include rightst
'election in April 1977, in which former individual access to information, stat
Mayor Albert Wheeler defeated and national information services ne
Belcher by one vote. It was found after works, specialized library service
the election that 20 township residents rights of authors and publisher:
had voted illegally in the election, and library staffing and funding, and fo
some city officials blamed Weiss for the mation of community advisory groups
error. Brown's election as a nationE
Chief City Attorney Bruce Laidlaw delegate occurred at the Michigan pr(
filed a motion in the city's defense, conference to the White House Co
asking Feikens to dismiss the case. ference, held recently in Lansing.
Laidlaw argued that Weiss was not
denied due process of the law when he
was fired, because he failed to seek a THE MICHIGAN DAILY


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Volume LXXXIX, No. 16-S
Wednesday. May 23, 1979
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