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April 06, 2000 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-04-06

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2A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 6, 2000


Continued from Page IA
telling him to kill the prime minister. This prompted a
ruling that says individuals cannot be prosecuted for a
crime if they are unable to tell right from wrong or if
they don't know what they're doing.
"The rule expanded and expanded, but now is very
narrow," Damour said. "The fit of passion was added."
The fit of passion clause involves crimes committed
while in an altered state of mind due to a catalyst. One
example is killing a spouse after walking in on them
having an affair.
"France is big into fit of passion," Damour said.
"Hardly any judge will convict you if you shoot your
lover for having an affair."
In 1954, she said, the law was further expanded with
the "product test" clause, which said the insanity plea
could be used only if the crime is the product of illness.

This law lasted only a year, as many attorneys tried
to use the product test to explain that drunken driving
was a product of alcoholism, Damour said.
At this time, she said, it was also fairly easy to get
off by insanity.
"It was the prosecution's job to prove that the person
was sane beyond a reasonable doubt," Damour said.
"This is hard to prove."
The law was changed in 1984, in the wake of John
Hinkley's attempted assassination of President Reagan.
Hinkley attempted to kill Reagan in 1981, mimick-
ing the movie "Taxi Driver."
"Hinkley was convinced that if he shot Ronald Rea-
gan, Jodie Foster would fall in love with him," Damour
said. "People-can't stand that he got off on the insanity
plea because he had planned for months and under-
stood the consequences."
The new law was called the Insanity Defense
Reform Law, which put the burden on the defense to

prove the accused was insane.
"The insanity plea is viewed as a way to get off,"
Damour said. "But in a jail term, once the term is
served, you leave. In a mental institute, you can only
leave if they decide you're safe."
Defendants in only about 1 percent of cases use the
insanity plea and only about a quarter of those get off,
Damour said.
"There's really been a lot of backlash because peo-
ple are really skeptical," she said. "I think that we've
seen the consequences in that the law has narrowed"
"We came to the lecture because we thought it
sounded really cool," LSA junior Mandy Viets said. "It
was actually really good. It's cool how she didn't talk
about just the history but looked at case studies."
"She was really interesting, and she seems really
nice," said Shipman member Lacie Kaiser, a Kinesiol-
ogy sophomore. "It felt like she was talking to you one
on one."

Bill to ban partial birth abortion passes
WASHINGTON - House Republicans, defying the threat of another veto by
President Clinton, for the third time in recent years pushed through legislation
yesterday to prohibit certain forms of abortion - a key election-year issue for the
GOPs conservative wing.
Passage came on a heavily party-line vote of 287-141. Although the House vote
achieved the two-thirds majority needed to override the anticipated veto, the Se9
count on a similar measure last October was 63-34 --not enough to override.
The bill now goes to a joint House-Senate conference committee to reconcile
differences between the two versions.
Clinton has vetoed comparable measures twice, in 1996 and 1997, and earlier
this week reiterated his intention to block the new bill. Passage of the abortion
legislation has become virtually an annual rite since the GOP took control of
Congress in 1995.
The bill passed yesterday would prohibit medical procedures in which part of
the fetus is pulled from the womb and into the birth canal before it is killed - a
technique that opponents have branded a "partial-birth" abortion.
Debate on the measure was intensely partisan - and emotional. House Republi-
can leaders rushed the measure to the floor, bypassing the Judiciary Commit
under rules that barred floor amendments - including a proposed Democra Tc
alternative supported by some GOP moderates.
Con ess lobbied for moratorium.
gr Illinois Gov. George Ryan, who
halt to executions rekindled a national debate over the
death penalty in January when he halted
WASHINGTON - Three men who executions until a commission could
spent years in jail waiting to die for find out why more people were freed
murders they didn't commit came to than lethally injected in his st ,
the Capitol yesterday to halt all U.S. released a statement praising Jacks
executions until stronger safeguards can measure as a step toward "ensuring that
ensure innocent people aren't executed. everyone accused of a crime is treated
"You cannot bring a man back from fairly before the law."
the grave after you find those errors,"
Darby Tillis said. He and co-defendant Probe into firearms
Perry Cobb are among 13 innocent indusContinues
men freed from Illinois' death row
since 1987.
Tillis, along with former Illinois HARTFORD, Conn. - Prosecutors
death-row inmates Ronald Jones and in at least six states are investigating
Gary Gauger, support an execution whether the gun industry is illegaV
moratorium bill sponsored by Rep. trying to punish Smith & Wesson
Jesse Jackson Jr.(D-l11.) agreeing to make its weapons more
The legislation would immediately childproof.
suspend all executions by the federal More than 20 subpoenas have been
government and the states for seven issued for firearms manufacturers,
years. To resume executions, states distributors and others, Connecticut
would have to provide access to DNA Attorney General Richard Blumenthal
testing to everyone on death row. said yesterday. The federal govern-
Competing measures in the House ment is also looking at the issue, he
and Senate also seek protections for said. A call to the Justice Department
capital defendants but do not call for a was not immediately returned.
New Japanese leader "This is an economy still very v-
nerable to shock' said Russell Jones,
to keep status quo chief economist with Lehman Bros.
TOKYO -- Japan's tradition of The longer-term danger, howern,
gradualism and its reluctance even dur- economists add, is that Japan's en-
ing a major crisis to turn policy corners ing preference for the status quo will
should benefit the world's second- further undercut reform and frustrate
largest economy over the short-term early efforts to breathe new vitality into
following the sudden loss of its prime this troubled nation.
Newly named Primed Mnier Turkish parliament
Yoshiro Mori, tapped toledtecu- 1p rlim n
try yesterday after his predecessor stops re-election
Keizo Obuchi slipped into a stroke-
induced coma three days earlier, has ANKARA, Turkey - Parliamo
vowed to carry on where his predeces- voted yesterday against a proposal
sorleft off. to keep President Suleyman
"My biggest responsibility is to con- Demirel in office for another five
tinue the Obuchi administration policy, years, setting off what is likely to
especially the economic policy, which be a difficult search for a new can-
he staked his life on," Mori said in a didate.
speech yesterday. The decision was a serious blow to
Economists say stepping into Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's coali-
Obuchi's shoes makes sense at a time tion government, which had pushed
when Japan's troubled economy is just hard for re-electing the 76-year-old
coming off life support and any rapid Demirel. His term ends May 16.
shift could damage or even reverse
hopes for a recovery. - Compiled from Daily wire reports.

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DESIGNER: Seth Benson
CONSULTANT' Satadru 0ramanik

BUSNES SAF Mak . Tomord BsinssMange

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