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March 02, 1983 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1983-03-02

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The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, March 2, 1983-Page 5
Supreme Court asked to
bend on evidence rule

After youe...
President Reagan escorts England's Queen Elizabeth II1
Barbara, California.

AP Photo
to a waiting limousine yesterday after their meeting in Santa

WASHINGTON (AP) - An honest
'mistake by police should not prevent
juries from considering unlawfully
seized evidence, the Reagan ad-
ministration told the Supreme Court
Rex Lee, the administration's
highest-ranking courtroom lawyer,
urged the court to soften, with a "good
faith" exception, its 69-year-old rule
barring all such evidence.
BUT CHICAGO lawyer James
Reilley warned that any bending of the
so-called exclusionary rule will be in-
terpreted by law enforcement
authorities as a signal "not to take the
Fourth Amendment as seriously."
The Constitution's Fourth Amen-
dment bans unreasonable police sear-
ches and seizures.
The Supreme Court created the ex-
clusionary rule in a 1914 decision to
deter unlawful police conduct, and in
1961 gave the rule constitutional dimen-
sion by applying it to state criminal
UNDER IT, evidence obtained in a
search or after an arrest later found to
be unlawful cannot be used against a
criminal defendant.
The rule meansrthat convictions
based, even in part, on such legally
tainted evidence must be overturned.
The rule has come under heavy at-
tack by many law enforcement officials
and political conservatives - including
President Reagan - who contend it
works to penalize society for what often
are "honest" mistakes by police of-
SEVERAL BILLS pending in
Congress would sharply limit the rule in
federal cases, but the constitutionality
of such legislation is an open question.
"The rule now applies to exclude
evidence no matter what the error,
large or small," Assistant Illinois At-
torney General Paul Biebel told the
justices yesterday.

"If there's a reasonable basis" for
illegal police conduct, Biebel said, "the
exclusionary rule should not apply."
THE JUSTICES are using the case of
Lance and Susan Gates, suspects in a
Bloomingdale, Ill., drug investigation,
to restudy the rule.
The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that
350 pounds of marijuana seized by
police officers from the trunk of the
Gates' car could not be used as eviden-
ce against them.
Police received an anonymous letter
in 1978 alleging that the couple was
shipping illegal drugs from Florida and
that there was $100,000 worth of drugs
in the basement of their home.
ACTING ON the tip, police officers
followed Gates as he drove back from
Florida. Having obtained a warrant
from a magistrate, they searched his
car when he reached Bloomingdale.
The evidence was suppressed before
trial on grounds that police had no
"probable cause" to believe that the
anonymous informant's tip was reliab-
In essence, the state court said the
magistrate was wrong when he gave a
search warrant to the officers.
IF THE NATION's highest court
disagrees with the Illinois court and
finds there was "probable cause" to

suspect the Gates were involved in
crime, it will not have to reach the ex-
clusionary-rule issue.
But the fact the justices ordered
yesterday's second round of oral
arguments specifically on the "good
faith" exception may mean the court
already has decided the evidence was
seized without probable cause. That
leaves at issue whether the evidence,,
nevertheless, may be shown to the jury.
"This is simply not the kind of case
to which the exclusionary rule was in-
tended to apply, or in which it achieves
deterrence benefits," Lee argued.
CALLING IT a "close question""
whether the exclusionary rule should
exist at all, Lee contended, This case-
presents a much easier question ... It is
difficult to see any adequate future
deterrence of police misconduct from
suppressing the evidence in this case."
Urging the court to reject Lee's
arguments, Reilley asked rhetorically
"what good is the warrant process it-
self" if good-faith exceptions to the
probable-cause requirement are
The Gates' lawyer suggested that law
enforcement authorities "are com-
plaining because the rule works too
well" in deterring sloppy police work.
The court is expected to announce its
decision by July.


House approves you

WASHINGTON (AP) - The House,
I resurrecting a New Deal idea of a half-
century ago, approved an American
Conservatiion Corps program yester-
day to provide as many as 100,000 park
and forest jobs for youths.
The bill, approved 301-87, calls for $60
million this year and $300 million for
each of the next five years in a program
fashioned after the Civilian Conser-
vation Corps that Congress approved
early in Franklin Roosevelt's first term
as president.
ADDITIONAL legislation is needed to
provide the money itself for the
program, which is opposed by
President Reagan.

Although relatively small in size and
very limited in scope, the measure is
the first one the Democrat-controlled
House has aproved this year to combat
the recession. A $4.6 billion bill to
provide public works jobs and
humanitarian assistance is expected on
the floor tomorrow and party leaders
have promised additional legislation in
the future.
"This is real. It is not make-work,"
Rep. John Seiberling (D-Ohio) said in
leading the argument for the American
Conservation Corps. Seiberling said of-
ficials of the Forest Service and Park
Service are pleading for laborers to
upgrade facilities, while unem-

hjob bill
ployment is very high among young
people and black youths in particular.
REP. DOUGLAS Bereuter (R-Neb.)
also said young people who sign up for
the corps would do the "back-breaking,
unglorious tasks" of preserving federal
But other Republicans protested
A similar bill passed the House last
year, although it died in the Senate.
And administration officials chose not
to fight the measure on the floor,
leaving Republicans worried about
unemployment free to vote without

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Court hears Freedom Rider's testimony

KALAMAZOO(UPI)-The racial op-
pression of the early 1960s was
dramatized in federal court yesterday
by a man who detailed how an angry
mob firebombed a "Freedom Rider"
bus and beat occupants as they fled the
Henry Thomas said he and a group of
fellow activists testing federal court
rulings barring segregation in bus
stations were attacked. and beaten just
outside Anniston, Ala., by 150 to 200
people wielding clubs and baseball
"There was no doubt in my mind that
they were going to kill us," Thomas
testified, recalling, the events that oc-
curred after the bus on which he was
riding was immobilized by a flat tire
and was firebombed by the crowd.

Angry segregationists held the bus
door closed as smoke billowed through
the bus and then clubbed the Freedom
Riders with baseball bats as they for-
ced their way out of the vehicle and into
the mob, he said.
Thomas' testimony was heard during
the second day of a bench trial before
U.S. District Judge Richard Enslen on
the $1 million lawsuit filed against the
federal government and the FBI by
Freedom Rider Walter Bergman of
Grand Rapids.
Bergman, 83, maintains the gover-
nment was aware of planned attacks on
the commercial buses on which the ac-
tivists were riding throughout the South
in their demonstrations.
Bergman claims the injuries he
received during a May 14, 1961 beating

on a bus in Anniston, Ala., led to a
serious complication during routine
surgery shortly thereafter and sub-
sequently left him confined to a
wheelchair for the rest of his life.
Thomas, now the owner of Mc-
Donald's restaurant in East Point, Ga.,
said the crowd dispersed when the gas
tank of the crippled bus exploded.
Ambulances arriving at the scene
would take only injured white people to
the hospital, he said, leaving the bat-
tered and bloodied black demonstrators
to wait for two vehicles operated by a
black-owned funeral home.

A crowd again gathered around the
hospital and officials there informed
the beaten demonstrators they would
have to seek treatment elsewhere,
although Thomas said "to go out there
again in that mob would have been

Israeli official criticizes U.N.

(Continued from Page 1)
coalition that fought the Nazis in World
War II.
Blum assailed the United Naitons for
its comdemnation of the Camp David
talks and the Israeli-Egyptian peace
"It is obvious that the flames of
hatred, fanned by the Soviet Union, are
an attempt to divert their troubles in
Afghanistan and in other parts of the
But, Blum said, Israel should be in
the United Nations. "Membership in
the U.N. should be -considered an at-
tribute of modern statehood. It
signifies that that particular state
belongs to the international com-
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Blum also credited the United States
with a "good change" toward Israel in
the U.N. He said U.S. Ambassador
Jeanne Kirkpatrick is responsible for
this improvement.
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