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June 15, 1977 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-06-15

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State's murder as legal suicide?

By . AJIES 510AULDING to murder.
Pritic New Service William C. Bailey, a Cleveland Slate-
With the recent rn- ire in public senti- University sociologist, has s u r v e ye d
ment favoring the death penalty, a grow- crime statistics in 42 states and found,
Ing number of critics are going on the on the average, more people kill each
counter-offensive, with the claim capital other in states which have the death
punishment may, in fact, be an invitation penalty than in states without it. This is
wry rr~eira

true, he says, even allowing for regional,
ciltural and other differences.
The explanation, say Bailey and others,
is capital punishment offers certain types
of deranged personalities an acceptable
means of suicide.
- EXPERTS DISAGREE on why support
for the death penalty has greatly in-
creased in the past 10 years, but most
say a major reason is the increase in
crimes of violence. A fearful public, they
say, looks at the death penalty as the
most effective deterrent.
Yet, Dr. Louis West, head of the de-
partment of psychiatry at UCLA, claims
capital punishment "breeds more murder
than it deters.'
"These murders," he says, "are dis-
covered by the psychiatric examiner to
be - consciously or unconsciously - an
attempt to commit-suicide by committing
homicide. It only works if the perpret-
rator believes he will be executed for his
Gary Mark Gilmore, who was executed
Jan. 17 by a firing squad in Utah, is often
cited as an obvious example. Some of his
prison psychiatrists said Gilmore sought
out his own d e a t h by murdering two
young men in senseless, execution-style
slayings. Following his conviction, Gil-
more demanded the death penalty be car-
ried out despite the many objections of
his attorneys.
IN 1958, JAMES FRENCH killed a
motorist who gave him a ride in Okla-
homa. He asked for the death penalty,
but his public defender successfully
pleaded for a life sentence. Later, in
state prison, he deliberately strangled
his cellmate.
According to West, "During a psychi-
atric examination in 1965, French admit-
ted to me he had seriously attempted sui-
cide several times in the past, but always

'chickened out' at the last minute' (Gil-
more also attempted suicide while in pri-
son, apparently afraid his execution
would be further delayed.
"French's basic motive in murdering
his inoffensive cellmate," West said,
"as to force the state to deliver to
him the electrocution to which he felt
entitled and which he deeply desired."
Dr. Bernard L. Diamond, a psychia-
trist at the University of California,
Berkeley, said a man he examined at
San Quentin Prison in 1959 the day be-
fore his execution confessed, finally, th
reason he murdered three women was
"for the express purpose of dying by
legal execution."
THE SAME CONVICT told a state
investigator he had tice tried suicide
before the murders, "but lacked the
guts." He agreed to talk to, Diamond
the day before the execution only on
the condition the execution would be
carried out.
"It took three murders and an at-
tempted fourth to complete his suicidal
mission," Diamond later wrote in a psy-
chiatry journal.
"I asked him what he would have
done," Diamond said, "if California had
had no capital punishment. He answer-
esd, 'I would have had to go to another
state where they did have capital pun-
ishment and do it all there.' "
Diamond said he is convinced if the
person had known s-he wouldn't be exe-
cuted and would have been forced to
serve time in prison' (which s-he hated
bitterly), s-he would have been unable
to commit murder.
Diamond concedes if capital punish-
ment is eliminated, such people might
still seek death in other ways, such as
a shoot-out with police. For them, he
says, suicide is difficult, if not impo.s:

The Michigan Daily
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Wednesday, June 15, 1977
News Phone: 764-0552
'U' keeps stoudent s in line
REMEMBER the ridiculous queues of students waiting
in front of the University Ticket Office for over a
month last year just to get good seats to football or
basketball games? They'll be back again this year, cour-
tesy of your favorite athletic director, Don Canham.
Complaining about the University's ticket policy, the
Michigan Student Assembly (MSA) put the question to
a ballot, with the understanding the University would
heed the vote. It didn't.
Students chose to make the whole system computer-
ized, and just have the tickets mailed randomly to stu-
dents wanting them. Had we adopted that policy, stu-
dents would not have been able ta sit with friends-an
important aspect of attending athletic events.
Canham rejected the idea. But just because the new
method wasn't supported, a return to the old ways is
not merited.
The old method, is use for years, is highly discrimina-
tory against individuals and small groups. Under that
plan, the first person in line makes the rules for ticket-
The inequity in this system is apparent when you
realize there are no restrictions on the rules. The first
person (which usually is the representative*of some lar-
ger group) sets what could be entirely unfamiliar rules.
Consistency is lacking.
Because students may not know what the rules for
any particular year may be, they may be denied good
Clearly, it is time for-a change. The athletic depart-
ment should make one set of rules to apply every jear.
Only in that manner everyone could be aware of
the policy, and only in that fashion every student would
have a. fir, chance of getting good seats. -

Health Service Handbook

QUESTION: How do you catch
infectious hepatitis?
ANSWER: On the assumption
you're not going to use the in-
formation to run out and catch
some, here's the scoop.
The most common form, Hepa-
titis A, is spread from person
to personsthrough close contact
with someone who has it. The
virus travels from mouth to
anus. Persons sharing food,
kitchen or bathroom facilities
with others nay occasionally
become infected, ifsa member
of their household is infected,
It is now also thought the
infection can occur throughsin-
tercourse, since the virus has
been found in the vagina.
Shellfish, such as oysters and
clams, may become contamina-
ted in coastal regions with in-
adaquate sewage treatment fa-
cilities and when such fish are
eaten raw, the virus may be
introduced., Sometimes, epidem-
ics of infectiouns hepatitis occur
from accidental contamination
of water supplies with sewage.
Hepatitis B is usually spread
ui, aen rt nDMAse nr~f+5 in#r

ANSWER: According to our
Health Service nutritionist, Irene
Hieber, fiber is just as important
to college age as to non-college
age persons: it is essential to
the digestive process.
Fiber increases the rate of
peristalsis, the wave-like con-
tractions which propel intestinal
contents along the digestive
tract. It also allows for the
proper hydration of the contents
of the intestine, that is, allows
them to combine with water in
an optimum balance.
Although there have been ma-
ny recent proclamations on the
miraculous disease cures that
may be derived from increasing
the fiber content of the diet,
these claims must be considered
untested hypotheses.
QUESTION: If I am drinking
alcohol ,is there anything I can
do to prevent myself from get-
ting drunk? -
ANSWER: There is really
nothing you can do to keep the
alcohol from having its effect.
If you drink too much you will
get drunk. However, according
to the National Institute on Al-
cohol Abuse and Alcoholism,
(NIAAA), eating before and

while drinking does slow the
rate at which alcohol is absorb-
ed into the bloodstream.
Eating while drinking may al-
so serve to slow down the rate
at which people drink. It takes
approximately one hour for the
average drink (e.g. a 12-o. bot-
tle of beer, or 4-5 oz. glass of
wine) to be metabolized once it
is in your bloodstream. Anything
that slows your rate of drink-
ing will decrease the probabili-
ty of getting drunk. Diluting al-
cohol diluted with non-carbona-
ted mixers is absorbed less rap
idly than alcohol diluted with
carbonated mixers).
The NIAAA notes there are
no "coatings" (milk, butter)
which could keep alcohol from
getting into your bloodstream.
Thesetproducts must be seen as
any other food substance, and
would, therefore, have similar
Send all health related questions
Health Educators
University Health Service
Division of Office
of Student Services
207 Fletcher
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

. 5 ' c . :-'5

by use of ne
by an infecte
other is injec
needle. The
ed person is
ous. Hepatiti
more serious
symptoms t
Drug users v
with others
prone to lefe

Ceaes contamrnate
xd person when an- C ntct your reps
cted with the same
blood of an infect- Sen. Donald Riegle (Dem.), 1205 Dirksen Bldg., Washing
extremely infecti- ton, D.C. 20510
s B tends to be a Sen. Robert Griffin (Rep.), 353 Russell Bldg., Capitol Hill,
s form, and the Washington, D.C. 20515.
end to last longer. Rep. Carl Pursell (Rep.), 1709 Longworth House Office Bldg.,
who share a needle Washington, D.C. 20515.
are particularly Sen. Gilbert .Bursley (Rep.), Senate, State Capitol Bldg.,
ction. Lansing, MI 48933.
L: Just how i rt- ,, ' el. Perry dullard (Dem.), House of Representatives, State
to someone of col. Capitol Bldg., Lansing,.MI 4033.

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