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June 21, 1980 - Image 8

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1980-06-21

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Page 8-Saturday, June 21, 1980-The Michigan Daily
SUPREME COURT RULES 7-2
Ala. death penalty illegal
From UPIand AP which the defendant's life is at stake." In one New York case, the state public service
WASHINGTON-The Supreme Court yesterday Justices William Rehnquist and Byron White commission had barred Consolidated Edison Co. of
struck down a key section o Alabama's death dissented, saying the constitutionality of the New York from advocating positions on controversial
penalty law, ruling 7 2 that it barsa jury from Alabama law was not an issue before the Alabama issues, such as nuclear power, in their customer bills
convity a defendant of-2 late harsatry Supreme Court, and thus, should not be decided. because the giant utility was taking advantage of a
lcicting a etence, related charges that carry The case was brought to the high court by Gilbert "captive audience."
he majority said the provision, known as the "kill Beck, convicted and sentenced to die for the murder THE STATE'S HIGHEST court agreed, holding the
emjoritye ithempgovfre ,, oas the of an elderly veterinarian in Etowah County, Ala. state had authority to regulate the "time, place and
consti utional rights of defendantw facing charges BECK DENIED KILLING the veterinarian, Roy manner" in which a utility can promote its positions.
that carry the death sentence. Malone, on Nov. 8, 1976, arguing that a companon Reversing that ruling 7-2, the Supreme Court held
UNDER ALABAMA'S unique law, a jury must find was responsible for the murder. He said the law restrictions on flyers conveying the utility's views
a defendant guilty of capital murder charges or violated his constitutional rights to equal protection directly infringed on commercial free speech.
acquit him. The panel cannot return a verdict for a and a fair trial. Justice Lewis Powell, who wrote both majority
lesser-related offense which does not carry the death The decision overturns Beck's conviction and may opinions, said the "commission's prohibition of
sentence. affect between 38 and 43 of the inmates now on death discussion of controversial issues strikes at the heart
Writing for the majority, Justice John Paul Stevens row in Alabama, according to Edward Carnes, of the freedom to speak."
said a jury must have the option of returning a assistant state attorney general. WHEN A REGULATION "is based on the content
verdict on a lesser offense to safeguard a defendant's In another decision, the Court ruled that utilities of speech," Powell wrote, "governmental action
rights. have a constitutional right to advertise or insert must be scrutinized more carefully to ensure that
"When the evidence unquestionably establishes views of controversial issues in customer bills. communication has not been prohibited 'merely
that the defendant is guilty of a serious, violent RULING IN TWO appeals from New York, the because public officials disapprove the speaker's
offense-but leaves some doubt with respect to an majority said state prohibition of promotional voice."
element that would justify conviction of a capital activities was "unwarranted governmental The majority of justices held that the state had not
offense-the failure to give the jury the option of regulation" of the utilities' commercial free speech. shown a compelling public interest to permit it to ban
convicting on a lesser included offense would seem Commercial expression not only serves the such speech.
invitbly tonae er iskd offans uwarrdasted economic interest of the speaker, but also assists "To allow a government the choice of permissible
cnvition,"yteenerthericonsumers and furthers the societal interest in the subjects for public debate would be to allow that
conviction,"Stevens wrote. fullest possible dissemination of information," the government control over the search for political
"SUCH A RISK cannot be tolerated in a case in majority said, truth," Powell noted.

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A

'Mad' movie
fails to win
a grown-up
audience
(Continued from Page5)
I might have been more lenient with
this movie if it had come out at another
time or if it had a slightly different set-
ting or ideological framework. There
are a few good laughs-mostly absurd
stuff like Liceman's appearnce out of
thin air with the answer to an especially
obscure baseball trivia question. The
film may be better-made than such
recent forgettable comedies as
Hollywood Knights or the God-awful
Gorp. But in an age when we are faced
with literally earth-shaking questions
about war, when we are forced to
examine our mutual rights and
obligations as human beings, a product
as ill-considered and ethically blind as
Up the Academy must not be tolerated.
JACKSON MOVES UP
CANTON, Ohio (AP)-Harold Jack-
son, the slim wide receiver of the New
England Patriots, is still moving up on
the all-time list of pass catchers, as
detailed by the Pro Football Hall of
Fame.
Jackson latched onto 45 aerials in
1979, his 12th season in the NFL. That
boosted him from a tie for 14th place in-
to ninth place on the all-time list.
The veteran receiver will take a
career total of 497 receptions into the
1980 campaign. If he does as well this
fall as he did last year, Jackson will
move up several notches more, possibly
as high as sixth place among the all-
timr,,

6.

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-- - - " tURTNIUHT Al MIUNIGHT IUNIUNH A I mNiG
Harold r d SOr
Maude o:-W

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