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November 09, 2004 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-11-09

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NEWS

The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 9, 2004 - 3

ON CAMPUS
Insurance agents
discuss organizing
personal finances
Anne Bannister and Teresa Tuck-
er, representatives from TIAA-
CREF, a financial service provider,
will be speaking on how to organize
personal finance and budget money
today in the Center for the Educa-
tion of Women from 4:30 to 7:30
p.m. Attendees can also meet with
counselors after the presentation to
talk one-on-one about how to reach
financial goals.
Attorney to discuss
Native American
land trust cases
Keith Harper, a member of the
Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and
senior staff attorney for the Native
American Rights Fund, will speak
on recent Native American law cases
today in West Hall, Room 411 at 7
p.m.
The lecture is titled, "Archives,
Records, and the Multi-Billion Dol-
lar Indian Land Trust Litigation,"
and is part of Native American Heri-
tage Month.
Film screening
highlights AIDS
epidemic in Africa
The Institute for the Humanities
will screen the film "State of Denial"
about the AIDS epidemic in Africa
tomorrow at 4 p.m. in the Rackham
Building. The film puts a human face
on the epidemic - which is expected
to claim 7 million lives by 2010- and
shows how Africans have to fight drug
cartels and the ignorance of govern-
ments in addition to the disease.
CRIME
NOTES
Students mooned
while sitting on
their porch
Two students reported that while sitting
on their porch in the 1100 block of South
Forest Avenue early Saturday morning,
a stranger exposed himself by mooning
them, AAPD Lt. Mark Hoornstra said.
Police believe the incident is connected to a
string of indecent exposures since August.
If anyone has any information regarding
this, call the AAPD at 944-2878.
Vehicle's windshield
found broken
A vehicle's windshield was found bro-
ken Sunday morning in the parking lot at
525 Church St., DPS reports. There are no
suspects.
Cell phone, laptop

taken from dorm
in Fletcher Hall
A student reported that her cell phone
was stolen from her room in Fletcher Res-
idence Hall early Sunday morning, DPS
reports. Her room was unlocked. There
are no suspects yet. DPS reports that later
that morning, a laptop was stolen from
another room in Fletcher Hall.
THIS DAY
In Daily History
Investigator
finds 'U' weapon
contracts
November 9, 1983 - Roger Kerson, a
private investigator hired by the Michigan
Student Assembly, said the University has
at least 12 contracts directly related to
weapons.
He spoke at a teach-in at the Michigan
Union attended by a crowd of students,
where he urged them to protest against the
University.
The contracts with defense agencies
range from studies of medical defenses
against chemical warfare to explorations
of fuel-air explosions, Kerson said.

Film exposes
life of juveniles
in adult prisons

By Alex Garivaltis
Daily Staff Reporter

Sixteen-year-old Michael Duc Ta was
driving with two friends near Los Ange-
les five years ago when his friends start-
ed shooting at another car. Although no
one was injured, Ta stood trial as an adult
for first-degree attempted murder and
received a sentence of 35 years to life.
Ta is profiled in "Juvies," a documen-
tary by filmmaker Leslie Neale screened
yesterday in the Michigan Theater. The
film was an outgrowth of a video produc-
tion course Neale taught at Los Ange-
les Central Juvenile Detention Hall. It
chronicles the experiences of 12 adoles-
cents charged with violent crimes.
The adolescents featured in the docu-
mentary were all involved in violent
crimes. As a result of toughened criminal
laws, the teenagers are forced to stand
trial as adults in the film. Every one has
been convicted and sentenced to serve in
an adult prison.
Neale, who answered questions after
the screening, said in the past few years
violent crime has decreased nearly 40 per-
cent. Juveniles are increasingly required
to stand trial as adults, and media cover-
age of such events has intensified.
Neale said officials at the California
department of corrections told her that
state law officially bars them from offer-
ing rehabilitation programs to prisoners.

When asked by an audience member why
the film had little emphasis on rehabili-
tation, she responded, "That's the point
- there is no rehabilitation." She said she
thinks the criminal justice system has
"swung to a punishment model."
At the beginning of the film, Cali-
fornia pedestrians are asked whether
they believe teenage criminals should
be sentenced as adults. The consensus
among those interviewed was that ado-
lescents who commit adult crimes should
be forced to stand the consequences as
adults.
Anait, a 14-year-old Armenian immi-
grant and one of Ta's juvenile-hall class-
mates, was sentenced to seven years for
having inadvertently driven the getaway
car for two boys that had murdered
another boy at their high school.
Most of the characters in "Juvies"
have lived childhoods of abuse, poverty
and molestation, and they are dispro-
portionately people of color. Many of
them began abusing drugs at an early
age, and several have children of their
own. A number of them ran away from
home at an early age.
Ta, who was physically abused by his
father from an early age, refused to allow
his father visitation while he was in pris-
on. Ta's father, a Vietnamese immigrant,
acknowledged that he often beat his son,
but argued that such behavior was cul-
tural. Once his father put a gun to Ta's

Leslie Neal, director of "Juvies," a documentary on the juvenile prison system, answers questions after a
screening of the film at the Michigan Theatre yesterday.

head and threatened to kill him because
he had been suspended from school.
"Juvies" catches up with the kids in
Ta's juvenile hall class three years after
their convictions. The characters, now
young adults, reflect on what prison
life has done to them. Several female
inmates remark that prison has had the
opposite effect of rehabilitation. They
said they had turned to drugs to deal
with prison life.
Los Angeles district attorney Gil
Garcetti said he thought sentences
like the one Ta received are unfair and
should have never been handed down.
Garcetti said this although Ta's 35-year
sentence was handed down during his
tenure.
Neale discussed the disparity in sen-
tencing, even among the 12 youth fea-
tured in the film. Several were convicted
of identical crimes but were given sen-

tences that differed by decades.
She also noted that recently a Michigan
teen who was tried as a juvenile and con-
victed of murder will be freed at age 21.
Neale said she thought taxpayers
would prefer to have their money spent
rehabilitating and educating citizens, not
incarcerating them.
"Every warden I have talked to has
said juveniles are the most rehabilitatable
group among violent criminals." She
then made an analogy between sending
adolescents to adult prison and "feeding
coal to a furnace."
She emphasized the financial implica-
tions of sending young people to prison
as opposed to rehabilitating them and let-
ting them return to society.
"It costs one million dollars to lock a
kid up for life," she said.
LSA student John Smith, said the film
was illuminating. "It's absolutely shock-

ing what they did to those kids - the sen-
tences are egregious," he said. He blamed
the phenomenon on overzealous politi-
cians and a public that has been confused
by an alarmist media.
At the film's end, the pedestrians
who said they were in favor of juvenile
criminals standing trial as adults were
told what Ta had done and asked what
punishment he should received. The
pedestrians, who seemed to agree on a
sentence of several years, were in dis-
belief when informed that he had been
given 35 years.
Neale, who has won several awards
for previous films, will be on the Mon-
tel Williams show later this week. Mark
Wahlberg, the narrator of "Juvies,"
spoke about the film this January on
Good Morning America. The screening
was hosted by the University chapter of
Amnesty International.

Kevorkian asks state for pardon

Lawyer: Assisted suicide
advocate's health has
deteriorated in prison
LANSING (AP) - A lawyer for Jack Kevorkian asked
the Michigan Parole Board yesterday to recommend Gov.
Jennifer Granholm release the 76-year-old assisted sui-
cide advocate, citing a number of health problems includ-
ing a hernia, high blood pressure and arthritis.
Kevorkian's attorney Mayer Morganroth asked the
Michigan Parole Board to recommend Granholm
either pardon his client or commute his sentence.
Morganroth said Kevorkian's health has deterio-

rated during his 5 1/2 years in prison. Kevorkian's
high blood pressure "has been extremely volatile
in nature and has risen to the danger level for a
heart attack at times," Morganroth wrote in the
request.
Kevorkian also suffers from hepatitis C and has
beginning stages of cataracts, Morganroth said.
"The effects of incarceration upon the health of
Dr. Kevorkian have caused his personal physician ...
to express serious concern for Dr. Kevorkian's well-
being," Morganroth said.
The request came a week after the U.S. Supreme
Court decided against hearing Kevorkian's appeal
of his second-degree murder conviction for the 1998
poisoning of Thomas Youk. Youk had Lou Gehrig's
disease. The death, which Kevorkian called a mercy

killing, was videotaped and shown on national televi-
sion. Kevorkian claimed in the appeal he had an inef-
fective attorney.
Kevorkian was sentenced to 10 to 25 years; he is
eligible for parole in 2007.
Kevorkian has said he assisted in at least 130 deaths,
but has promised in affidavits and the newest request
for pardon or commutation that he will not assist in a
suicide if he is released from prison. Michigan banned
assisted suicide in 1998.
The request filed yesterday is Kevorkian's second.
The state parole board voted against his first request
a year ago.
Russ Marlan, a spokesman for the Michigan Depart-
ment of Corrections, said the state had not received Key-
orkian's new request as of late yesterday afternoon.

FILE PHOTO
Debbie Stabenow stands on the steps of Angell Hall during a visit to the
University to meet with administrators in 1997.
Stabenow to become
hird-highet rnki
Democrat 1in Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. Senate
Democrats are planning to elect Michi-
gan Sen. Debbie Stabenow to a lead-
ership post next week, Stabenow said
yesterday.
Stabenow said she has enough votes
from her colleagues to become the cau-
cus secretary, the third-ranking position
among Senate Democrats. As secre-
tary, Stabenow said she will help set the
Democrats' agenda
and be a more vis-
ible spokeswoman "I've work
for the party.
"I've worked and playe
hard and played a lead
leadership role on e ersip
prescription drugs
and health care,
and I appreciate and healti
being recognized
for that," Stabenow I apprecia
told The Associat-
ed Press yesterday. recognize
In addition to

Stabenow said she considers Reid and
Durbin close political allies. She decided
to run for secretary last Friday, when
Sen. Barbara Mikulski, of Maryland,
announced she was stepping down from
the post after 10 years. Stabenow said
she spent the weekend talking to fellow
lawmakers and was assured support from
"well over half' of the 45 Democrats who
will serve in the Senate next year.
"Senator
Stabenow has
d hard earned the
respect of her
a colleagues
because they
role on have seen first-
dr hand her effec-
tive leadership,

e
0

:h care, and
te being
.d for that."

hard work and
the ability to
get the job
done," Reid
said in a state-
ment released

1 ;

I

m

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