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April 19, 1999 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-04-19

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The Michigan Daily -- Monday, April 19, 1999 -- 11

Jones laws it

Ice queens

DETROIT (AP) - Testimony in the
wrongful death lawsuit against "The
Jenny Jones Show" closed last week
with a coroner describing the final sec-
onds of one former guest's life before
another shot him to death.
Werner Spitz's account of the final
confrontation between Jonathan
Schmitz and Scott Amedure was in
*hic contrast to the "happy" time
that Jenny Jones said they seemed to be
having on the set of her show in 1995.
Spitz, the Macomb County medical
examiner, is expected to return to the
witness stand today as the trial enters its
fourth week. Oakland County Circuit
Judge Gene Schnelz said testimony
could wrap up by the end of next week.
The jury then will have the oppor-
t ity to send a message to "The
y Jones Show" and others like it
that exposing private emotions to
public gawking will be costly, said
Geoffrey Fieger, the Amedure fami-
ly's lawyer.
"I'm not promoting censorship but
I'm at least promoting self-control,"
Fieger said during a telephone inter-
view Saturday. "This was clearly done
for the vicarious pleasure of an audi-
ence, like using the Christians and the
v' s for the entertainment of the
Amedure's family is suing the show,
its production company and Warner
Bros., its distributor, for $50 million.
They contend a mentally ill Schmitz
was lured onto a show about secret
admirers in the belief that he was going
to be introduced to a female.
Instead, they say, the secret admirer
turned out to be Amedure, a gay
intance who described a sexual
Sy involving Schmitz.

Three days after taping the March 6,
1995, segment, Schmitz went to
Amedure's mobile home in Oakland
County's Orion Township and killed
him with a shotgun.
Schmitz was found guilty of sec-
ond-degree murder in 1996, but his
conviction was reversed on a techni-
cality; his retrial is scheduled for this
Jones, who is not a defendant but
underwent nearly 12 hours of testimony
last week, said she recalled Schmitz
and Amedure "smiling at each other,
looking very happy" at the conclusion
of the taping.
Lawyers for the show say Schmitz
was told ahead of time that his secret
admirer could be a man or woman. And
in her final response to a question while
on the witness stand, Jones testified that
Amedure's death wasn't her responsi-
Fieger said, however, that his case is
based on the show's alleged failure to
find out enough about an unstable
In the future, he said: "Every show
will be more cautious. Every show will
use more vigilance. There will be pre-
screening (of guests), aftercare ... these
shows will have to promote protection
of the people they use.
"I'm standing up for some kind of
values," Fieger said. "Eight-year-olds
should not believe it's all right for their
mothers to have affairs with the mail-
A Yale University sociologist said
yesterday that Fieger's efforts to
clean up daytime television would
depend first on his winning the case,
then on the amount of the damage

The University Figure Skating Club performs the introduction to their Annual Spring ice Show, titled "Let's Party Like
it's 1999" at Yost ice Arena on Friday.
C caldwepn bill
w- -aa e l d -VVr aoWA Lould loosen res trictions

Continued from Page 1
"a humanitarian catastrophe" with
political jargon.
"The term 'ethnic cleansing' is noth-
ing more than a euphemism for geno-
cide," Gephardt said. "The scope of this
humanitarian crisis compels us as
human beings to act and to act now"
The president reminded audience
members that "for the moment we are
caught up in a conflict for which we have
clear objectives. But we must be thinking
about tomorrow when the conflict is
over, when the Kosovars are home.
"If you want people to give up the
misery of yesterday," Clinton said, "you
must give them the hope of tomorrow."
U.S. Rep. David Bonior (D-Port
Huron) applauded American support
for NATO's efforts, telling Clinton,
"there are those who say we should
remain silent and do nothing, but you
refuse to look the other way."
Bonior said leaders of the mission
against Milosevic's regime have one
clear goal in mind - "to alleviate the
suffering of hundreds of thousands of
Kosovar refugees: fathers and sons killed
in front of their families, daughters gang-
raped by Serbians, elderly burned alive
because they are too feeble to flee."
About 300 people were invited to the
speech because of their efforts in
fundraising and collecting much-need-
ed food and other supplies for the
refugees. Several audience members
will soon see the conditions in the
Balkans for themselves.
Capt. Jeff Smith of the Salvation
Army said he learned last Monday that
he will be going to Tirana, Albania,
along with nine other members of a
relief team. He is scheduled to spend a
month in Albania helping to provide
lodging and food for refugees.
"To be a part of the team is quite
exciting," he said. "It's a place where
the Salvation Army needs to be"
But not everyone invited to Clinton'
speech was making such an imiens
commitment. One contributor had to be
pulled out of the lunchroom at Martin
Luther King Jr., Academy by his moth-
er to be in the audience.
Six-year-old Conor Esselink of Mt.
Clemens donated $10 of his own
money to the Red Cross in order to help
"I gave it to the refugees in Kosovo
because they don't have much money,
and they don't have much food either'
he said.
Conor's mother Cassie Esselink said
she was pleased to know her son was
concerned with the conflict inKosovo.
"I didn't tell him he had to give
money," Cassie Esselink said. "It was
completely his decision. I was very
After the speech, Conor had the
chance to meet Clinton. The president
signed a copy of The Macomb Daily fea-
turing a story about Conor's donation.
John Schultz, a spokesperson for the
Southeast Michigan chapter of the
American Red Cross, said the organiza-
tion has set a goal of raising $1 million
per week for Kosovar relief efforts. In
the first week, more than $6 million was
collected, and Schultz said he hopes
people continue to donate generously.
"As long as its in the front of people's
minds, we believe the American people
will come through" Schultz said.
Clinton also was joined on stage by
political leaders including Roseville
Mayor Gerald Alsip and U.S. Reps.
Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) and
Sander Levin (D-Sterling Heights).

NATO launches most
active day of attacks

Continued from Page 1
bury their countrymen.
The alliance's jets flew more than 500
missions in the 24-hour period ending
yesterday afternoon - a total that a
NATO military spokesperson said was
the highest daily total yet. NATO pilots
struck sites across Serbia and its Kosovo
province, where they reported seeing
s e rising from burning villages.
oon they will be bolstered by 24
U S. Apache anti-tank helicopter gun-
ships intended to target the Yugoslav
army and special police forces accused
of repressing Kosovo Albanians.
NATO said the first Apaches were
expected in Albania from Italy by today
but severe rainstorms delayed deploy-
ment at least another day.
An Albanian military source, mean-
while, said yesterday that several had
a dy arrived elsewhere in the coun-

try over the previous two days.
Reflecting tensions over the stepped-
up military activity in Albania,
Yugoslavia severed diplomatic relations
with its southern neighbor yesterday,
the Albanian Foreign Ministry said.
Despite growing calls for NATO to
send in ground troops, NATO
Secretary-General Javier Solana insist-
ed there were still no such plans.
But Solana said in a television inter-
view with the British Broadcasting
Corp. that "if the moment comes when
(a ground force) is necessary, I'm sure
the countries that belong to NATO will
be ready to do it."
British Foreign Secretary Robin
Cook said even if ground troops were
authorized, it would take two to three
months to prepare.
Thick smoke mixed with choking
fumes rose above an area targeted by a
NATO attack on an oil storage depot
and nitrogen fertilizer plant in Pancevo.

N Support grows in
House and Senate for
weapons bill
LANSING (AP) - Ready, aim, fire!
A Senate committee sets its sights this
week on legislation to relax Michigan
gun laws and make it easier to get a
concealed weapons permit.
Indications are there is growing sup-
port in both the Senate and House for
such legislation. Leaders in both
chambers say they generally favor
making it easier to carry a gun in
Sen. David Jaye (R-Washington
Township) sponsor of the Senate bills,
says that will discourage criminals
because they won't know who is carry-
ing a loaded gun.
"They are hard targets," he said of
ordinary citizens who might be packing
a gun to ward off criminals. "All rights
pale in comparison" with the right to
defend yourself against a criminal, he
Jaye's Hunting, Fishing and Forestry
Committee is slated to take up the bill
on Thursday. He predicted overwhelm-
ing passage, both in committee and on
the Senate floor.
A similar bill is being discussed by a
House lawmaker.
And leaders in both chambers, con-
trolled by Republicans, have indicated
they favored the measures.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Gov.
John Engler said the governor favors

the House bill that would standardize
gun permitting statewide.
House Speaker Chuck Perricone (R-
Kalamazoo Township) predicted pas-
sage of a bill to niandate that gun per-
mits be issued when applied for, as long
as the applicant qualifies. Now, it is up
to county gun boards whether to issue a
concealed weapons permit, but backers
complain the boards often reject appli-
cations automatically.
The Jaye bill would authorize the
secretary of state to issue concealed
pistol permits, and would require per-
mits for qualified applicants. Now,
local gun boards frequently reject such
It would set a $50 application fee,
require applicants to be 21 or older, bar
felons and mentally ill people and
require pistol safety training.
The legislation has gotten little criti-
cism in the Senate committee so far, but
law enforcement organizations have
said it will just put more weapons on
the streets - and create more opportu-
nities for their misuse.
Some 31 states now have laws requir-
ing gun permits to be issued to qualify-
ing people, as Jaye is proposing. He
said violent crime has dropped 20 per-
cent in those states because of the more
lenient gun laws.
"The record in 31 other states is that
people licensed to carry pistols ... have
been extremely responsible," Jaye said,
saying there has been little misuse of
the weapons.
The full Senate, meanwhile, is sched-

uled to open debate soon on a bill to
ban holding school on the Friday before
Labor Day. It's a watered-down version
of legislation proposed in the past to
forbid classes from starting before
Labor Day.
And the measure would create a spe-
cial commission to study the economic
impact of school calendars and make
recommendations on when schools
should start their year.
The tourism industry in Michigan
has been pushing for ban on starting
school before Labor Day. It says that
cuts into summer vacations and their
The latest bill, sponsored by Sen.
Walter North (R-St. Ignace) would be
in effect for three years while the matter
was studied.
In the House, debate begins on the
death penalty today in the
Constitutional Law and Ethics
Committee. Testimony also is planned
for tomorrow.}
Rep. Larry Julian (R-Lennon) said
he wants voters to decide on the 2000
ballot whether death is a fair punish-
ment for someone who is convicted of
first-degree murder.
Julian, a former Michigan State
Police trooper, said it's about time the
death penalty received serious debate in
the House, which hasn't weighed the
issue for some 20 years.
Voters, however, would only decide
whether the constitutional ban would
be lifted, leaving the details for a later


Relocating after graduation?
Your Alumni Association has
a home for you wherever

you'll be.
Join us at Alumni Orientation 1999 and
activate your free one year Alumni Association
membership, pick up a gift, and learn from C
Alumni Club leaders what it's like to live in
their cities!
It's part of all the food, fun, music and
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Meet These
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