Page 2 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 14, 1984
Bill may hurt open meetings law
LANSING - Legislation allowing public bodies to
evaluate their employees behind closed doors won
approval in a House committee yesterday despite a
journalist's contention it will gut the state's Open
On an 8-0 vote, the House Towns and Counties
Committee sent the bill, sponsored by Rep. Richard
Fitzpatrick (D-Battle Creek) to the full House.
THE PROVISION makes the law "just about" 50
percent ineffective, said Tim Richard, editorial page
editor of the Observer and Eccentric Newspapers.
The committee is also studying a bill that would
exempt "threatened" litigation against a gover-
nment body from public discussion.
If that measure also passes, Richard said, "The act
wil be 100 percent ineffective. You might as well
repeal the whole act."
However, proponents of the measure, including
Don Elliott, representing the Michigan Association of
School Administrators, said the bill will serve the
public interest by allowing "constructive criticism'
"THERE ARE too many instances where such
criticism has been misinterpreted by the media or
certain segments of the public," Elliott said. He ad-
ded that questions of publicly criticizing officials, as
well as possible legal expenses incurred afterwards,
"results in a reluctance to evaluate the administrator
in many districts."
Elliott added, "We are not attempting to dodge an-
ything - we are attempting to create harmony in
Currently, public bodies are allowed to meet in
private only under a certain limited number of cir-
cumstances, among them to consider the dismissal or
discipling of a public officer, employee or other in-
Under both current law and the committee
revision, the meeting could be held in private only at
the request of the person being evaluated. The com-
mittee also approved an amendment allowing closed-
door sessions only for "periodic personnel
The committee also approved a measure requiring
public bodies to publish a notice in local newspapers
of public meetings which are to be held in private
homes. The bill requires the notice to run at least two
days before the meeting.
Jews asked to back Jordan aid
From AP and UPI
WASHINGTON - President Reagan tried to persuade
Jewish leaders yesterday that American military aid to
Jordan would be in Israel's "strategic interest," but they
greeted his idea with silence and a few hisses.
Reagan has upset Jews by proposing to sell portable
Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to Jordan and Saudi Arabia. In
,addition, the administration is seeking about $200 million
from Congress to finance creation of an 8,000-man Jordanian
strike force that could be dispatched anywhere in the Persian
Gulf where trouble flares.
"IT IS IN America's strategic interest - and I believe it is
in Israel's strategic interest - for us to help meet Jordan's
legitimate needs for defense against the growing power of
Syria and Iran," Reagan told an audience of about 3,000 at
the Young Leadership Conference of the United Jewish
On Capitol Hill, Rep. Larry Smith (D-Fla.), said he would
lead a fight today to block the Stinger sales. He said he has
the backing of about 50 House members, but acknowledged
he may not succeed within -the ,0 days allowed for
congressional veto of an intended arms sale. A similar move
is under way in the Senate.
To block the sales, both the House and Senate must pass
separate bills forbidding the deals. If they are vetoed by the
president, two-thirds of both chambers must vote against the
sales to override his veto. However, the deals could be
thwarted after the 30-day deadline if delivery - rather than
sales - of the missiles is prohibited by Congress.
Deputy White House press secretary Larry Speakes said
Reagan was willing to continue campaining personally for
approval of the sale if necessary.
Reagan told the group assistance to Jordan "does not
threaten Israel, but enhances the prospect for mideast peace
by reducing the dangers of the radical threat" from Syria
... met by silence, hisses
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(Continued from Page 1) '
determined unavailable to appear at
the trial, said in his testimony that
Asam used "strong" language frequen-
tly when talking to the farmhands, and
that Fulmer said four or five times he
wished there were someplace else to go.
SEVERAL witnesses during
the trial testified that they
knew Asam as "Adams.',' When.
questioned about this after the trial,
Morgan said Asam "was using an alias
to hide his true identity," and that
Asam "wasn't a very truthful person."
Defense Attorney Ellis asked Joiner
for an acquittal before presenting his
evidence, but the judge denied the
motion until the presentation of eviden-
ce was complete.
Joiner granted the motion for acquit-
tal after Ellis's closing statement.
Ellis said in his closing statement
that the Kozminskis enslaved Asam
"almost as much as Louie and Bob,"
adding that Asam was "probably the
only guy who ever touched Louie. Even
if it was to put his arms around him and
give him a little knuckle rub."
Asam said Monday he had been in the
state prison several times, once on a
larceny charge. Asam is currently
being held at the Federal Correctional
Institution in Milan for writing bad
Also yesterday, in a separate
hearing, Joiner delayed ruling on John
Kozminski's motion for a new verdict
or a new trial.
Compiled from Associated Press and
United Press International reports
High court permits execution
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court yesterday cleared the way for the
execution today of convicted Texas murdered James David Autry, who
came within minutes of being put to death last October.
The justices, by a 7-2 vote, refused to hear arguments aimed at overtur-
ning Autry's death sentence, including the contention that the condemned
man has suffered enough.
Autry's life was spared Oct. 5 by Justice Byron White only minutes before
he was to die by lethal injection.
One of the arguments raised by Autry's lawyers in an effort to stave off his
fourth execution date was that killing Autry now - after his "ordeal" in Oc-
tober - would be "cruel and unusual punishment."
Autry's lawyers hoped the U.S. Supreme Court or Texas Gov. Mark White
would halt the execution, which would be the 14th in the United States since
Gary Gilmore was killed by a firing squad in Utah in 1977.
Autry was convicted and sentenced to death for gunning down Port Ar-
thur, Texas, grocery store clerk Shirley Drouet, 43, over a six-pack of beer.
Defense says Mass. barroom
rape started as 'just a joke'
FALL RIVER, Mass. - Saying that a purported gang rape started out as
"just a joke," a defense attorney told a jury yesterday his client tried to
have sex on a barroom pool table with a willing woman who then asked to go
home with him.
"Everyone thought it was just a joke," Edward Harrington, the attorney
for Daniel Silva, told a jury in opening arguments. Harrison, a former
mayor of New Bedford, told the jury that the attempt at sex between his
client and a 22-year-old mother of two "was consensual in nature."
He said Silva would take the stand to testify that "there was no screaming
no crying, until the others came around the pool table." When the woman got
off the pool table to leave, "she came back to him and put her arms and legs
around him and said 'take me home,"' Harrington said.
Harrington said Silva had met the woman prior, to the night of March 6,;
1983 when the woman said she was attacked and raped by a gang of;
strangers at Big Dan's, a bar in New Bedford's North End.
Harrington's opening arguments came as the defense opened its case in an;
afternoon trial of Silva, 27, and Joseph Vieira, 28. Four other men are being
tried in a separate morning trial, at which the prosecution is still presenting
State police, FBI investigate
$750,000 armored car theft-
BERKLEY, Mich. - Police yesterday stepped up their search for an ar-
mored car driver who disappeared along with his bulletproof van Monday
during a routine cash pickup at a suburban Detroit supermarket.
Neither police nor officials of Total Armored Car Service Inc. would say
how much money was in the van, but a police source quoted by the Detroit
News estimated it contained $750,000 in cash, checks and food stamps.
Investigators, hampered by a lack of witnesses, said they did not know if
the driver absconded or was hijacked during the five-minute period his two
co-workers were inside the A&P store.
The driver was identified as John Murray, 39, of River Rouge, a four-year
employee of Total Armored Car Service. He was driving a 1978 white Ford
van with an orange stripe and lettering, marked 114 on the front and rear.
State police yesterday joined the FBI and Berkley police in the search for
the driver and van. Police said they questioned about a dozen people, in-
cluding Murray's co-workers and members of his family.
Polish church and state feud
over crucifixes in high schools
WARSAW, Poland - The Roman Catholc Church and Poland'sCom-
munist authorities squared off yesferday over 1heg6'grnmeiits'dr to
remove crucifixes from high schools, and both sides insisted they would not
back away from the fight.
Cardinal Jozef Glemp convened his senior bishops in Warsaw and later
issued a statement saying "crosses should be returned where society
demands so that the rights and demands of believers be respected."
"The church will not retreat," said a statement read by Bishop Jan Mazur
to more than 4,000 cheering teen-agers at a Mass at the Church of the Tran-
sfiguration in Garwolin, 40 miles south of Warsaw, where the controversy
broke out last week.
In Warsaw, government spokesman Jerry Urgan declared religious
symbols cannot be displayed in schools. This is government policy and it will
Attorneys stress contradiction
in MSU rape trial testimony
MASON, Mich. - The alleged victim in the Michigan State University
gang rape case underwent her second day of cross-examination yesterday as
defense attorneys stressed contradictions in her testimony.
The mood in the Ingham County Circuit Court trial grew tense at times as
defense lawyers drove home their contention that contradictions in the
woman's testimony prove their clients are innocent.
The prosecution has insisted that conflicts over such issues as whether she
had two beers or three should have no impact on the outcome of the trial.
On the major point - whether the woman consented to sex with the men-
her testimony has been consistent, the prosecution argued.
The trial - which began last week - is to continue tomorrow.
Seven young men are charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct
in connection with the incident which occured in.November, 1982 at a MSU
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Wednesday, March 14, 1984
Vol. XCIV-No. 129
The Michigan Daily is edited and managed by students at The University
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