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June 14, 1977 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1977-06-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Not a question of 'normalcy' or clothing

By CARL PURSELL
So many strange things hap-
pen in this world of ours, it
takes a tot to realy shock me
anymore. Bat a County Jodge
in Madison, Wisconsin has suc-
ceeded in shocking me to the
point of disgust.
Judge Archie Simonson sen-
tenced a high school student
who roped a fellow student in
a school stairwell to one year
at home under court supervis-
inn. Ie was quoted as saying
the rapist was responding "'nor-
mally" to the sexual permissive-
ness of our society. inoluding
the provocative way women
dress.
The victim of the assault was
clothed in blue jeans, tennis
shoes, and a blouse over a tur-
tle neck sweater: hardly "pro-
vocative" attire.
BUT THE YOUNG woman's
clothing is not the point. Nor
is the permissiveness of socie-
ty. The point is, there is no
excuse sufficient to justify
leniency in a wanton and bru-
tal attack of rape.
Rape is one of the most vio-
lent and reprehensible acts,
both physically and psychologi-

cally, one human can inflict
on another. Rape is a crime,
pure and simple. It must not
be allowed ot be considered as
anything else. And those who
commit rape must receive the
full measure of the law, with
no misplaced sympathy.
Any judge who can find a
rationalization - especially ore
as blatantly fallacious as the
Madison decision - is not fit
to pass judgment on members
of our society. Judge Simon-
son should be removed from
the bench. People in Wiscon-
sin are currently engaged in
an effort to do so.
Another incredible aspect of
the judge's decision to release
the rapist was his rationale the
attacker came from a "well-dis-
ciplined" family, had been in-
volved in church activities, and
had never before been in seri-
ous trouble: In fact, the boy's
previous record includes six
shoplifting incidents and one re-
ported injury by negligent use
of a weapon (a BB gun), To
call this a well-disciplined, God-
fearing, law-abiding background
is not only inaccurate it's
asinine.
THE JUDGE - and I use
the term with greatest reluc-

tance - has outraged every
facet of mly understanding of
law justice and judicial temp-
erament. Beyond that he has
set a very dangerous precedent
which I pray will not be fol-
lowved in an other courtroom
in America. It seriously jeopar-
dizes' women both legally and
physically,
The victim of rape has for-
ever been at a disadvantage in
our legal system. There have
been numerous examples where
vicious rapists have been set
-free on the flimsiest grounds;
where victims have suffered
unconscionable humiliation dur-
ing a trial and insensitive and
inadequate law enforcement;
where laws have worked to the
advantage - of the criminal in-
stead of the victim.
We have in recent years seen
a laudable effort on the part of

police agencies courts and leg-
islative bodies to undo the le-
gal wrongs suffered by women
in the past.
But decisions like the one in
Madison threaten to take us
back to the legal dark ages.
SOME HAVE CALLED this
an outrage against women. But,
even more serious than that, it
is a direct assault on the rule
of law, and in that sense it
is an outrage against all of us.
My concern is for the young
lady who suffered this horrify-
ing attack. Can this. so-called
judge have any conception of
what his incredible decision
means to her?
There are a number of activi-
ties which have worked their
way into our spcial fabric which
do not please me. I do not con-

tend the trend to greater per-
missiveness is necessarily an
advancement of our culture,
But no matter how permissive
parts of our society become, we
can never excuse the crime of
rape as "normal" reaction to
societal stimulation.
Since Judge Simonson's inex-
,cusable "logic" forgives people
for reacting "normally" to the
stimulating atmosphere around
us, perhaps he would also for-
give those who consider his re-
moval from the bench a nor-
mal reaction to the stimulus
he provided with his rape de-
cision,
Carl Pirsell is a RerubHlican
,u,,mber of the U. S. iouse of
Rrpresentaies from Michi-
gan's Second Congressional Dis-
/rict, a hich includes Ann
Arbor.

The Michigan Daily
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Tuesday, June -14,/977
News Phone: 764-0552
Contraceptive sale ruling
should be unanimous
LAST WEEK seven of nine Supreme Court justices rec-
ognized all persons have the right to sexual privacy.
Those seven voted that contraceptives may be sold to any
person, regardless of age, any where at any time by any
one.
That decision is bound .to be heralded by some as
federal endorsement of promiscuity. Actually, it is fed-
eral recognition of the need for birth control methods
and information to sexually active persons.
The court's decision struck down a New York law
which forbade the sale of contraceptives to minors with-
out prescriptions or to any person, unless the sale would
be made in a pharmacy.
The decision represents an attempt to curb all ex-
cuses by sexually active persons not to use contracep-
tives. Some, however, would interpret the court's actions
as a spur to teenage sexual activity.
TEENAGE SEXUAL ACTIVITY is not a declining phe-
nomenon. And those teenagers and other persons who
are sexually active need guaranteed access to contracep-
tives in order to avoid 'the skyrocketing number of un-
wanted pregnancies. --
Unfortunately, two of the justices saw fit to support
the law to the hilt. Such justices would prefer to naively
believe sexual activity could be stemmed if the sale of
contraceptives to any person is as difficult as possible,
That contraceptives may be legally sold anywhere
makes a set of federal guidelines for the production
quality, of contraceptives an unavoidable necessity. But
the establishment of such gpidelines to promote the qual-
ity of such a product could even lead, potentially, to
more effective contraceptives.
But most importantly, the Supreme Court acknowl-
edges the privacy necessary to our most intimate rela-
tions with other persons. By fostering that feeling of
privacy, perhaps the court would also implicitly foster

'Why do you keep pestering us? Can't you see
- we're still on our honeymool2?'

Letters to The Daily

~1

going hungry
To The Dailyt
Right now the U.S. is sitting
on the second largest wheat crop
in its history. Meanwhile mil-
lions of people in third-world
countries can't produce enough
to eat and are -starving. What
will the largest grain-producing
country in the world do with its
second largest crop in history?
Probably we will store a great
deal so as not to glut the mar-
ket and cause world prices to
fall - lowering the price on
"Nature's" surplus to a point
where hungry people could af-
ford to buy it. Instead we'll
probably sell enough tq keep
cattle fed in these United States,
Western Europe, Australia, pos-
sible to keep the rest from glut-
ting the market, driving prices
don whita eh -ult a -nl

ardy since they pay higher pric-
es for grain products (grain-fed
beefs pork, fowl, and bread), as
well as paying "their" surplus-
es. All this while people are
starving in developing countries,
too hungry or sick to work, too
poor to change.
So meat prices should remain
stable or go down for the next.
few years as we and the rest
of the developed world slowly
consume "our" grain surplus-
es while the, price of human
lives in poor countries decrease
in value.
Bread for the World, a Chris-
tian lobby group for the hun-
gry, is pushing in Congress for
the establishment of a world
grain reserve. U.S. participa-
tion is critical if there is to
be any at all. Though we pledg-
ed support of such a reserve
at the Rome World Food Con-
ference in 1974 we have notdas
yet taken any aption. Besides
feeding saving people with our

grain surpluses in emergen-
cies, year-in and year-out pric-
es would be stabilized to avoid
"boom-and-bust" cycles that
squeeze the poor out of the
market.
Can we morally afford to hide
behind slogans in defense of
human rights when we selfish-
ly 6f unknowingly neglect the
most basic human right of all:
the right to eat? Congress and
the Senate passed separate ver-
sions of the BFW-sponsored
Right-to-Food Resolution assert-
ing the primacy of responding
responsibly to world hunger
through our foreign policy.
Please write your representa-
tive now, before early July, to
express your concern for U.S.
participation in world grain re-
serves ... fhe time was never
more favorable for ourselves
and for those who are hungryl
Gregory Lynne
Bread for the World
Coordinator

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