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October 14, 2004 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-10-14

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2A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 14, 2004



Court tackles
teen execution

Supreme Court yesterday struggled to
assess the morality and propriety of
states executing murderers who killed
at age 16 or 17 - the ultimate punish-
ment carried out in few places outside
the United States.
The court has outlawed executions
for those 15 and under when they com-
mitted their crimes. Still, 19 states
allow the death penalty for those older
teenage killers.
Justices debat- "We are lii
ed whether such
killers are chil- alone in t]
dren who can-
not grasp the
of their actions Lawye
and should be Lamwe
kept from death im
row, or criminals conv
whose executions
would ensure justice for victims and
deter other youths.
The justices seemed sharply aware
of the world audience as they dis-
cussed whether the executions are
cruel and unusual punishment in vio-
lation of the Constitution.
They heard arguments in a Missouri
case involving Christopher Simmons,
who at 17 kidnapped a neighbor and

threw her off a bridge.
Juvenile offenders have been put
to death in recent years in just a few
other countries, including Iran, Paki-
stan, China and Saudi Arabia. All
those countries have gone on record
as opposing capital punishment for
"We are literally alone in the world,"
said Seth Waxman, Simmons' lawyer.
Justices repeatedly referred to

he world."
- Seth Waxman
r for Christopher
eons, 17-year-old
victed of murder

arguments filed on
behalf of Sim-
mons by foreign
leaders, Nobel
Peace Prize win-
ners and former
U.S. diplomats.
Justice Anthony
Kennedy, a mod-
erate expected to
be a key swing
vote, said with

Christopher Simons, a murderer at age 17 and a Missouri death row Inmate,
is at the center of the case heard by the Supreme Court yesterday regarding
whether the death penalty should be applied to juveniles.

world opinion against the punishment,
"Does that have a bearing on what's
James Layton, representing the state
of Missouri, said the court's judgment
about unconstitutional punishment in
America "should not be based on what
happens in the rest of the world."
"Is there some special reason why
what happens abroad would not be

relevant here?" Justice Stephen Breyer
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, quot-
ing from the Declaration of Indepen-
dence, said for the United States to
lead, it must "show a decent respect
for the opinions of mankind."
Simmons was convicted of the 1993
murder of Shirley Crook. Prosecutors
say he planned the burglary and kill-
ing. The victim, wearing only under-
wear and cowboy boots, was hog-tied

and thrown off a bridge.
Simmons was sentenced to die, but
Missouri's highest court overturned
the sentence last year.
Justice Antonin Scalia, a death pen-
alty supporter, said the court could be
asked to declare juveniles too imma-
ture to face punishment of any kind.
"Why pick on the death penalty?
Why not say they're immune from any
criminal penalty?" he asked. "I don't
see where there's a logical line."

Iraqi leader threatens military action
A suicide attack and roadside bombings killed six American soldiers, and Iraq's
prime minister warned residents of insurgent bastion Fallujah yesterday to hand
over terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi or face military action.
Al-Zarqawi's Tawhid and Jihad group has claimed responsibility for beheading
several foreign hostages and for car bombings throughout the country, and a video-
tape posted yesterday on an Islamic website showed militants linked to al-Zarqawi
beheading two Iraqis they accused of being intelligence officers.
The attacks, at a time when U.S. forces are putting pressure on insurgent strong-
holds in the Sunni heartland, occurred in the run-up to the Islamic holy month of
Ramadan, which Iraqi television said would begin here Friday. Some extremists
believe they earn a special place in paradise if they die in a jihad, or holy war, dur-
ing Ramadan, when Muslims believe God revealed their holy book the Quran to
the Prophet Muhammad.
Iraq's deteriorating security, including bombings, mortar and rocket attacks, kid-
nappings and shootings, has slowed reconstruction efforts and forced the United
States to divert funds from rebuilding to security.
Plan for NATO in Afghanistan rejected
Germany's defense minister rejected a U.S proposal to have NATO take over
the U.S.-led military mission in Afghanistan, saying yesterday that his country
wants to focus on stabilization.
Peter Struck spoke on the opening day of a meeting of NATO defense minis-
ters. The proposal would combine the NATO peacekeeping force in Afghanistan
with the 18,000 strong U.S.-commanded combat mission fighting remnants of the
Taliban and al-Qaida. "We are against a merger of the two mandates," Struck told
German radio. "The German government sees its engagement primarily with the
... stabilization mandate."
NATO currently commands the International Security Assistance Force in
Kabul, the Afghan capital, and it has set up five Provincial Reconstruction Teams in
northern Afghanistan. Its troops do not conduct combat missions as U.S. forces do.
Nicholas Burns, the U.S. ambassador to NATO, had told reporters traveling
with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Tuesday that the United States
wants the two missions combined under an alliance commander, possibly as
early as 2005.
Iraq pleads for donors to fulfill aid promises
Iraq's deputy leader pleaded with donors yesterday to fulfill their promises of
aid to help rebuild his war-ravaged nation, while U.S. Deputy Secretary of State
Richard Armitage acknowledged that Washington was initially too slow in chan-
neling money to Iraq.
Of the $13.6 billion in grants and loans promised last year by nations and lend-
ing institutions, only about $1 billion has been deposited in World Bank and U.N.
funds for Iraq.
Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh and four other members of Iraq's interim
Cabinet were at the 55-nation conference that opened yesterday in Tokyo in hopes
of convincing participants that their country is both in need of donations and safe
enough for the money to be effective.
FDA OKs chip to be inserted in patients' arms
Medical milestone or privacy invasion? A tiny computer chip approved yester-
day for implantation in a patient's arm can speed vital information about a patient's
medical history to doctors and hospitals. But critics warn that it could open new
ways to imperil the confidentiality of medical records.
The Food and Drug Administration said yesterday that Applied Digital Solu-
tions of Delray Beach, Fla., could market the VeriChip, an implantable computer
chip about the size of a grain of rice, for medical purposes.
With the pinch of a syringe, the microchip is inserted under the skin in a procedure
of less than 20 minutes and leaves no stitches. Silently and invisibly, the dormant chip
stores a code that releases patient-specific information when a scanner passes over it.
Compiled from-Daily wire repris
Dow JONES 10,002.33 - 74.85
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S&P 500 1,113.65 -8.19

Election experts examine vote count

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP)
eign election experts yesterday
complaints from candidates in,
istan's first-ever presidentialE
setting aside suspect ballot b
further delaying the vote count
Despite the problems, a t
general said Saturday's vote "s
end" of the rule of the gun in a
still controlled by warlords.
With ballot boxes pouring in'
air and even donkey from ac
rugged and impoverished land,
had forecast that the countin
begin on yesterday.
But a three-person panel s
investigate alleged irregularit
yesterday they were still exam
objections made by some oppo
President Hamid Karzai and t
ing cannot start until all the co
are reviewed.
Craig Jenness, a Canadian law
is one of the panelists, said the b
recommended that ballot boxes
sites in four provinces be isolate
Jenness did not say when th
would be complete but saidc
would begin "very quickly" aft
He said candidates had until1
file additional complaints, but t
counting would not be held up f

complaints cause vote count delay in
- For- Karzai is widely tipped to secure a
studied clear victory over the 15 other candi-
Afghan- dates when final results are announced,
election, toward the end of the month.
oxes and The establishment of the panel
appeased Karzai's opponents, who had
op U.S. threatened to reject the result.
pells the Election staff were supposed to mark
country voters' left thumbs with indelible ink,
but some apparently used pens meant
by road, for marking the ballots or ink meant for
ross the stamping them instead.
officials The wrong ink was easily washed off,
7g could opening the way to claims of multiple
voting. Election organizers had issued
et up to 10.5 million registration cards, far more
ies said than expected, fueling concern that
ining 43 some people had obtained several.
nents of A spokesman for ethnic Hazara can-
he tally- didate Mohammed. Mohaqeq said he
mplaints also had filed written complaints to the
panel about polling stations running
vyer who out of ballot papers and a dearth of vot-
body had ing centers in west Kabul, where many
from 10 Hazaras live.
ed. Meanwhile, eight people stranded
e review for 24 hours since a helicopter sent to
counting retrieve ballots crash-landed at high alti-
erward. tude in northeastern Afghanistan were
today to rescued today, U.N. spokesman Manoel
hat vote- de Almeida e Silva said. Afghan election officials sort presidential elf
further. The rescue helicopter was reassigned ter in Kabul yesterday.


ection ballots at a counting cen-


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was called The Three Heads
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important was Military, which
was used only to attain the goals
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