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July 26, 1977 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-07-26

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The Mihigan Daily
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan

Tuesday, July 26, 1977
News Phone: 764-0552
No excuse, no invitation,
no justice in rape cases
Wisconsin is embroiled in controversy about his
statements that rape could be a normal reaction of ado-
lescent bays to contemporary women's clothing, another
judge has opted to stand on the pedestal of sexism, pro-
claiming that female hitchhikers invite rape.
This judge, Lynn Compton of the 2nd District Court
of Appeals in California, offered his opinion in the case
of a rape of a female hitchhiker by the man who gave her
a ride. "The lone female hitchhiker . . . advises all who
pass by that she is willing to enter the vehicle with any-
one who stops, and in so doing advertises she has less con-
cern for the conequences than the average female."
As if that expression of the court's unanimous ruling
did not clearly debunk female status before the law,
Compton continued, "Under such curcumstances it would
not be unreasonable for a man in the position of defen-
dant here to believe that the female would consent to sex-
ual relations."
CONTRARY TO WHAT much of society would have us
believe, women do not at any time, under any circum-
.tAsmees, "invite" rape. Rape is a premeditated crime per-
petrated upon a woman who happens to be in the wrong
place at the wrong time.
Never, under any circumstance could forcible sexual
relations between two persons be considered reasonable,
normal, permissible, moral or justifiable. There simply is
no excuse for rape, but these judges, men put in their po-
sitions to enforce justice and our laws, make excuses al-
lowing more men to rape more women and get away with
their crimes.
Rape has long been known as one of the easiest
crimes to commit, and one of the most difficult crimes of
which one could be convicted:
Bearing such information in mind when they made
their judgements, Compton and Simonson did much more
than perpetuate society's permissiveness of rape. With-
such morally adverse decisions as theirs, these two justices
could, in fact, have unwittingly become accomplices of
all rapes.
Editorial positions represent a
consensus of The Daily Editorial staff.

} ' - >t it X, ,f g
- '9
Dist-ield Nesrpaper Syndicate, 1979
Mr. Carter? About these outfits we bought from
you back during the campaign -
Defense overconfidence
spurred VAconvict ions

Defense attorneys for Filipino
Narciso and Lenora Perez in
the Veterans Administration
(VA) hospital poisoning trial
may have rested their case-pre-
And it could be that as a re-
sult of resting their presentation
early and not presenting all of
their planned witnesses, Narciso
and Perez were each convicted
of three counts of poisoning and
one count of conspiracy.
If such is the case, then it
could be said the prosecution
didn't win the VA case, the de-
fense just lost it
One who believes the defense
may have erred is Erlinda San-
tos, president of the Philipine
nurses Association who sat
through most of the trial. "(The
defense) should have presented

Letters to
VA guilt

To The Daily:
I believe the VA nurses are guilty.
I believe it is not only because a jury found
them so, but likewise from what the prosecutor,
during the trial, unveiled as a possible motive-
the poisoning of patients would call attention to
the hospital understaffing.
We have an image of nurses-administering to
the sick, guardian angels, "Florence Nighten-
gales" and items like that. But what are nurses
really like? They're people that don't like their
jobs, to put it mildly.
When first hired, the nurse, yes, is often ideal-
istic, even living'-p to the Florence Nightengale
image. But as the months and years go on, she
becomes cynical, disillusioned, working for the
paycheck rather than for the patient. The patient
becomes a number, no longer a person.
Of course there are nurses as considerate and

The Daily /
sales smiles, their laughs are "reasons of state".
Perez and Narciso look sweet, sweet as can be.
Nor do I doubt they are-off the job. On the job,
however, they're of the rank and file nursing
profession, to wit, massively depersonalized, con-
stantly grumbling about understaffing. And the
way they talk about patients! I mean their private
conversations. This patient is stupid, that one up-
pity, ec.!! Florence Nightengale? Oh, Boy!
Given nurses' general psychology-this sea of
cynicism-as a backdrop, should it be doubtful,
should it be surprising that two of them carry this
psychology to the point of poisoning?
-Som Cohen
News: Joy Levin, Stu McConnell, Ken Par-
sigign, Sue Warner, Barb Zahs
Editorial: Linda Willcox
Photo: Alan Bilinksy
rr_.rs. ni i ine

all the evidence and all the wit- Francis Foldes, who said the
nesses they had." "time 'bomb" was unlikely al-
though not impossible. The de-
Defendents in a criminal case fense's expert would have told
are not required to present any the jury the time bomb was in-
witnesses or evidence, but the deed possible to make but the
four lawyers representing Nar- defense decided not to call him.
ciso and Perez chose to present
a case. Two of ,the witnesses Likewise the defense did not
were the defendants, and 12 bring on any witnesses or ex-
more were character witnesses perts to challenge that some
with only four "fact" witnesses. patients had even received Pav-
As a result, the jury never
got to hear testimony regard- Some of the patients symp-
ing Betty Jakim, a 51-year-old toms were inconsistent with the
former VA nursing supervisor muscle relaxant (Gasmire re-
who committed suicide in Feb- portedly had his eyes open al-
rary after confessing to the though Pavulon makes the eye
VA poisonings and extonarating lids droopy) yet the defense did
Narciso and Perez. not present any expert witness-
es so challenge the government's
After a hard fought court bat- expert witnesses.
tie, defense lawyers won the
right to interview Jakim's psy- Lastly, the defense strategy of
chiatrists. But that was the last charging FBI harassment and
ever heard of the issue. The of questioning the question VA
defense chose not to present. staff chief Dr. Martin Linde-
any testimony or evidence re- nauer's stake in the prosecution
garding Jakim, nor psychiatric may have backfired. Assistant
records and not even the sui- U.S. Attorney Richard Yanko
ride note. who prosecuted the case and
got the last word into the jury
Nor did the defense bring on said defense charges were a
the expert witness they had "snioke screen."
flown in to attest to the validi-
ty of the "time bomb" theory. "Where is the defense based
This theory asserted the Pavu- on facts?" Yanko said. He sug-
lon used to cause the breathing gested the two women had no
failures could have laid rest- defense based on facts - no
ing in the intravenous (IV) med- experts, no exhibits and only
ication. bag for hours and then four "fact" witnesses.
released suddenly. If the theory
was correct, the real VA kil- Narciso and Perez maintain
ler could have been long gone their innocence even after cos-
from the hospital when the pa- viction, and if they are indeed
tients began feeling the effects. innocent, as many observers
and supporters contend, then the
The government presented an defense lawyers are guilty of the
array of experts, including Dr. greatest error: overconfidence.
Letters should be typed Editorials and certoons that
and limited to 409 words. eser n the right side of
The Daily reserves the the .Editoril paea re the
rIght to edIt letters for artist, and no necessriy
length and grammar- the opinion of the paer.

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