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December 05, 1982 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1982-12-05

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0

OPINION

Page 4

Sunday, December 5, 1982

The Michigan Daily

Dashed hopes:

Bad news from

OR A WHILE last month everyone was
F having a fine time dreaming about the end
of economic hard times. Politicians in Lansing
'were insisting a turnaround was just ahead.
University administrators were saying things
were looking up. Even usually cautious
academic economists, in their annual forecast
released last month, joined the rising chorus
hailing impending recovery.
But then, jolting everyone out of the dream,
came a nasty reminder that the state's
economy is still in shambles and the
recession/depression is far from over. State
budget planners took a look at their books and

becoming all too familiar-sort of like a
recurring nightmare. So much for the dream.
Engineering shock
THE QUALITY of life over at the engineer-
ing college seems to be in great shape. It's
the one place in the University that is comfor-
tably sitting out the budget-cutting process,
waiting for that redirected money to come its
way. Engineering is prestigious. Engineering
is profitable. Engineering is top-notch.
But engineering was also in for a bit of a
shock last week. The quality of faculty in four
of the college's departments ranked barely
above average in a nationwide evaluation.
Engineering educators from across the coun-
try rated 326 chemical, civil, electrical, and
mechanical engineering departments on a
scale with 50 as an average. At the University,
scores were mediocre. The department
faculties received ratings ranging from a less-
than-dazzling 65 for mechanical engineering to
a low of 57 for chemical engineering.
And even though engineering is perceived as
a healthily wealthy college by the rest of the
University, engineering profs blamed the low
ranking on a lack of sustained financial sup-
port.
Engineering is "probably the most under-
funded unit" of the University, moaned Prof.
George Haddad, chairman of electrical
engineering. The college, groaned Dean James
Duderstadt, receives the "lowest level of state
support in the state."
University officials hesitated to say whether
ratings-boosting money would be pumped into
engineering, but the college isn't going to count
on outside help. It plans to seek more financial
support itself throughresearch funding.
Those engineers, after all, are known for
designing their own solutions.

Cozy classrooms
C HANCES ARE, next term will not be the
one you get to take four 12-person
seminars. In fact, even if you do register for
four small discussion groups, they may not be
as small as you originally expected.
Department heads in LSA are going to have a
rough term this winter, especially when it
comes to class size. According to professors in
the economics, math, English, and history
departments, classes will be getting bigger this
winter-quite a bit bigger.
In economics a serious shortage of faculty
members is causing the department to offer
fewer courses, bigger courses, and more low-
level courses. New hiring is a must, professors
say, or things will just get worse.
In other departments budget cuts have also
taken their toll. Again, a lack of faculty is
causing the math and history departments to
put few extra students into most of their
classes.
When will the trend reverse itself? Not until
the University comes up with more money, and
given the state of things in Lansing, that could
be quite a while.
Redirection: Who cares?
SUPPOSE THEY gave a five-year-plan
forum and nobody came.
That's exactly what happened on Thursday,
when about 50 professors and less than 25
students showed up for a panel discussion on
the University's current redirection process.
The forum was intended to "broaden campus
view and input," and some new ideas did get
across. President Harold Shapiro and Vice
President for Academic Affairs Billy Frye
came to hear students complain about rising

all over'
... : .
A 7 r
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realized that things weren't working out the
way they had hoped. The recovery that was
supposed to bring in new revenue wasn't
materializing, and more cutbacks in state spen-
ding would be needed to balance the budget.
For University administrators that means
another all-too-familiar cutback in state aid.
It's not clear yet how much money the Univer-
sity will lose or exactly when it will lose it.
But at this point it hardly seems to matter
much anymore. Administrators, professors,
and students are all becoming somewhat numb
to the constant cycle of cutbacks. Last year
alone, the state issued three such budget-
cutting orders-totalling about $15 million-
and delayed payment for at least a year on
another $19 million.
The cutbacks in state aid, in fact, are

6

Daily Photo by BRIAN MASCK.

Frye: Nobody went to his party

tuition and dropping black enrollment. And
Shapiro even admitted that the current school
reviews are having a serious effect on faculty
morale.
In short, it was a small indication that the
administration is willing to open up its
procedures for deciding what's important at

the University.
But it was a larger indication that not too
many students really give a damn.
The Week in Review was compiled by
Daily staff writers Andrew Chapman, Juli
Hinds, and David Meyer.

1O C~

Edie trtanigan t
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Wasserman

Vol. XCIII, No.'72

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, Ml 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

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Protecting polluters

OR SOME time, the Reagan
administration has been arguing
that the federal government cannot
take steps to reduce "acid rain" until it
learns more about the phenomenon.
Piously claiming ignorance of the
reasons behind the acidic rainfall
which has been killing lakes and
forests in eastern North America and
Scandinavia, administration officials
had pledged to investigate the effects
of emissions of large utilities in the
United States.
But last week, the administration
took an action which revealed the
degree-of its commitment to dealing
with the problem of acid rain: It
drastically reduced the amount of
money being spent on one of the most
important research projects into the
origins of acid rain.
On Wednesday, the Office of
Management and Budget ordered that
the funds for the current year for the
Advanced Utility Simulation Model
Program be slashed from $650,000 to
$150,000-in effect, the OMB ordered
that the program be ended.
STheadministration

argues-feebly-that the cut in the
AUSMP budget is eliminating a costly
duplication of effort. But that
argument is hardly convincing. The
program was the only publicly-funded
study of its kind, and the only other
similar study is conducted by a private
group, whose data sources are not
available to the general public.
A far more convincing case was
made by Duane Chapman, a Cornell
economics professor who is a resear-
cher on the project. "My own opinion is
that our group erred in making too
much progress," he said. "It is
possible that the OMB wishes to leave
the EPA and Congress dependent on
industrial sources for information."
The decision, in other words, isn't
mere bureaucratic ineptness or
budget-cutting fervor. It isn't inadver-
tant sabotage of the administration's
efforts to clean up the environment-
the administration isn't making any
such efforts. Rather, the decision is a
deliberate (and baldfaced) attempt to
place a higher priority on the protec-
tion of polluters than on the protection
of the environment.

In the end, the recent Florida
murder trial of Howard Virgil
Lee Douglas may prove more
important for its verdict on the
traditional American jury
system than for the jury's verdict
on Douglas.
Confronted with a brutal crime,
12 jurors weighed the evidence
against Douglas and found him
guilty. As they returned from
their second deliberation-to
determine his punishment-the
tense moment of life or death
arrived.
"HAS THE jury a recommen-
dation regarding the penalty in
this case?" asked the judge.
"We have, your honor," the
jury foreman replied. "The jury
recommends that Howard Lee
Douglas be sentenced to prison
for life."
But whatever relief Douglas
may have felt was short-lived.
For the presiding judge then
overruled the jury's recommen-
dation and sentenced the accused
to die in the electric chair. The
judge chose to disregard the
views of 10of the 12 jurors.
HOW FAR we have come from
the traditional American
jury-the 12 men acting in
unanimity as the "conscience
and voice of the community."
The origins of the "American"
12-person, unanimous jury are
obscure, but it has been a feature
of common law since the mid-14th
century. Indeed, the framers of
the U.S. Constitution felt no need
to define the term "jury" when
they guaranteed Americans the
right to one in both criminal and
civil cases.
As the New Hampshire
Supreme Court wrote when in-
terpreting that state's 1783 con-
stitution: "No such thing as a
jury of less than 12 men, or a jury
deciding by less than 12 voices,
had ever been known, or ever
been the subject of discussion in
any country of the common law."

R edefin ing

0

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juries,-
redefin ing
justice
By Michael Kroll

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held that a six-person jury was
sufficient in civil cases.
The sum of these decisions,
commented U.S. Supreme Court
Justice Thurgood Marshall,
"... undermines the principle on
which the whole notion of the jury
now rests." The late Justice
William Douglas described the
emerging new jury as "a radical
departure from American
traditions . . . a vast restruc-
turing of American law."
But such concerns were
overriden in 1979 when the
Supreme Court's majority ruled
that although a 12-person
unanimous jury still was
required in federal cases, the
states were free to experiment as
long as the great purpose of the
jury-to stand between the
government and the accused to
thwart government op-
pression-was not compromised.
All that states are required to
provide, found the divided court,
is the functional equivalent of the
traditional jury.
BUT increasingly there is
sound reason to doubt the
smaller, majority-vote juries

Smaller groups, even where
minority viewpoints are
represented, tend to be
dominated by one or two vocal
members who have an inhibiting
effect on others, especially those
whose views might counter the
biases of the other group mem-
bers.
The effects of these reductions
of people and views on the jury
system can be tragic: Smaller
juries make more mistakes, ten-
ding to convict innocent people
more often than do larger juries.
It is a basic principle of statistics
that if any polling sample is
reduced from 1,500 to 750, the
poll's margin of error increases
by more than 40 percent. The
same is true if a jury is cut in
half.
REQUIRING unanimity for a
jury to convict had been seen as
essential to the assertion that a
person is innocent until proven
guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
"The doubts of a single juror,"
Justice Marshall has written,
"are evidence that the gover-
nment has failed to carry (this)
burden of proof."
Tn fact-onni nrehe~nsiv stuies

are unconstitutional; and, in 1979,
that six-person juries must reach
unanimous verdicts.
"The purpose and functioning
of the jury in a criminal trial is
seriously impaired, and to a con=
stitutional degree, by a reduction
in size below six members,"
wrote Justice Harry Blackmun.
The irony, however, is that the
data the Supreme Court used to
arrive at its conclusions was
based on studies of six-person
versus 12-person juries. In other
words, the functional differences
Blackmun noted also are ap-
plicable to the six-person juries
the court allowed.
THE COURT has left many
other questions unanswered.
Some of these questions may be
answered when the appeal from
Howard Douglas's death senten-
ce reaches the high court. In
Florida-as in Alabama and In-
diana-the jury's decision as to
punishment in a capital case is
purely advisory. Moreover, in
Florida the jury's decision for life
or death requires only a simply
majority.
Thus, if seven jurors vote for
the death penalty, and five for
life, the sentence will be death.
On the other hand, even if all 12
jurors vote for life, the judge is
empowered to impose death.
Judges routinely exercise that
power in Florida, the state with
the largest death row population
in the country. About one-third of
all death sentences there are im-
posed by judges overruling jury
recommendations for mercy.
THE BRIEF filed on Douglas's
behalf by the National
Association of Criminal Defense
Lawyers and the Florida Public
Defenders Association cites 700
years of common law tradition
where "the finality of a jury
decision for the accused has been
deemed beyond the discretion of
monarch or president,
parliament or legislature."
But that same common law
6~-A.4 AA-- wnLia h

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