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October 09, 1995 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-10-09

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 9, 1995

Uc1e lt EkiaDivg



420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, MI


Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

Emotikn battles iztellect in
reactim to Sinpson verdict

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of the Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters, and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
New code should include protections of law

A s the deadline for the second draft of the
Statement of Student Rights and Re-
sponsibilities approaches, it is imperative to
recognize that if and when a code is imple-
mented, proper measures should be taken to
ensure students' legal rights.
The American Civil Liberties Union
(ACLU) has written to the regents about the
violation of student rights the current code

poses. The regents
should serve notice to
the letter, which cor-
rectly asserts that if any
ofthe current code'sju-
dicial process is main-
tained, student rights
will still be trampled.
One of the major
criticisms ofthe code is

that it goes beyond what
is necessary to protect the student body's
educational integrity and safety. Already in
place, Regents Bylaw 2.01 - the measure
used to suspend Jake Baker last February -
gives the president a mechanism to address
safety and other concerns with the "clear and
present danger" clause in directly dealing
with individual students. While the all-en-
compassing powers that Bylaw 2.01 gives to
the president create problems of their own,
thiere is an important aspect of 2.01 that is
locking in any section ofthe code: a student's
right to challenge a sanction in court with full
legal protection and representation.
Under the current code, students are not
permitted to have an attorney speak for them
during judicial proceedings, nor may they
compel the testimony of others who may be
crucial in their defense. Further, it does not
allow testimony to be taken under oath -
providing no legal repercussions for false
testimony or perjury. Students cannot cross-
examine witnesses, creating an environment
in which students facing charges under the
code are forced to remain silent or engage in

a defense that can produce potentially in-
criminating evidence. Combined, these grave
violations of constitutional rights create a
judicial proceeding at the University that
contradicts any premise of impartiality.
Another striking fault ofthe code that will
have to be addressed in the revised version is
the aspect of double jeopardy: Students can
be held accountable for violations ofthe code
as well as for violations
of criminal or civil stat-
utes. Under the current
system, the code hear-
ing is independent of
the outcome of a crimi-
nal or civil suit. Even if
found innocent in a
court of law, a student
may still be punished at
code hearings for the
alleged violations.
To remedy this, all advisory hearings or
panels must not begin until all criminal or
civil proceedings have commenced - en-
suring that any advisory committee could
review only the facts of the case and a state-
ment by the student in issuing sanctions. Any
such panel on code hearings should involve
a review only of the formal record, which
would protect the rights of the student and
still maintain code administrators' appropri-
ate powers to take action to protect the Uni-
versity community.
As Vice President for Student Affairs
Maureen A. Hartford and the student advi-
sory panel continue to work out a code re-
write, their primary concern must be to in-
corporate legal representation at code hear-
ings. Students should not be forced into a
process where they have to defend them-
selves without the full protection of the law.
Any attempt to produce a code that continues
this egregious stripping of student rights
should be fought by the regents in the Fleming
Building and by students in the courts.

Several weeks ago I heard Vincent
Bugliosi, the former Los Angeles deputy
district attorney who successfully prosecuted
the Charles Manson cult, tell his CNN inter-
viewer that there is more physical evidence
linking O.J. Simpson to the murders of Nicole
Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman than he
had in his own case against Manson.
Swallowing his words hurt, but I be-
lieved him.
We all knew the evidence implicated
O.J. Simpson - the DNA ties him to the
crime scene. We all knew that in the "real"
world, Simpson would have been convicted
and sentenced to spend the rest of his life
(without parole) behind bars - criminal
justice would have been served.
But the "trial of the century" never came
close to resembling the real world. The trial
became a flashy, multimillion-dollar Holly-
wood marathon, which provided instanta-
neous entertainment for the entire world.
The verdict certainly didn't vindicate the
two victims and their families - in fact, the
parents of Ron Goldman have threatened a
civil suit against Simpson. Still, the case had
everything to do with a different kind of
When the court clerk read the verdict
acquitting Simpson, I silently celebrated. (I
don't have a TV in my West Quad dorm
room so I missed the live coverage, but I
listened on my radio. I could hear the sighs
of relief and the whimpers of grief in the
background.) A slight roar emanated from

the bowels of my dormitory as if Michigan
had scored another touchdown. Some whites
were aghast at the verdict. But for many
blacks, Asians, Latinos and other minori-
ties, the verdict was a true victory - a coup.
From years of discrimination and oppres-
sion by whites, a reservoir of bitterness and
anger has built up. The verdict diluted some
of that bitterness and for a brief moment, we
celebrated. "The Juice is loose!" I heard one
ecstatic student shout.
In a sense, I wanted Simpson - a minor-
ity, a black man -to screw a system that has
screwed many of his predecessors and con-
tinues to screw them in subtle ways even
today in our"multicultural society." I wanted
him to succeed in a world that has repeatedly
oppressed and discriminated against not only
other blacks but against all minorities. I
wanted to see a hero, a star athlete, a Heisman
Trophy winner come out on top in a world
where every day we hear grim stories of
losers-such as the one about Mel Reynolds,
the black congressman and Rhodes Scholar
who had it all, but went to jail for having sex
with an underage campaign worker.
The sense of euphoria after the verdict
comes in stark contrast to the general feeling
of despondency that resulted from the
Rodney King case. When the ruling came
out exonerating the police officers who
fiercely beat up King, that same bitterness
gushed over the top - leading many blacks
to riot through Los Angeles without re-

"I was here in
the rain for quite
a few Grateful
Dead shows.
- I was here
i for that, I
should be here
offr°for this."
-Andrew DTDomenico, a
24-year-old bagel baker,
attending Pope John PaulI s
- Mass at Giants Stadium

The Simpson case has further divided
and strained relations between whites and
blacks. We've all seen the polls that read:
"The majority ofwhites believe O.J. is guilty.
The majority of blacks think he's innocent."
I have not deluded myself into believing he
is in fact innocent. But in my own pernicious
way, I wanted to see O.J. Simpson walk
away free, unscathed. Some experts believe
that O.J. can earn up to $50 million in inter-
views, royalties, etc. even after paying off
his $10 million legal bill. (Isn't capitalism a
great thing.)
Minorities, blacks in particular, will face
a backlash of ill-will and anger by those in
power. The whites will riot in their own way:
they will leave the inner cities and the sub-
urbs and head off to Oregon or South Da-
kota; they will vote for the Republican Party
and pump money into the coffers of Patrick
Buchanan's Contract for a White America
fund; they will punish blacks and poor mi-
norities by hermetically sealing our borders:
they will further curb the number of immi-
grants allowed into this country; they will
close down our day-care centers, slash wel-
fare benefits and make Proposition 187 a
constitutional amendment.
Again blacks, Asians and Latinos will
endure the consequences. But the euphoria
has not subsided. We have had our day in
court. We have won our own little victory.
- James R. Cho can be reached over
e-mail atjcho@umich.edu.


In the aftermath of the O.J. Simpson trial

Road's scholars
Bill correctly places limits on teen drivers

T his week the state Legislature will vote
on a bill that would, among other things,
increase the minimum age for an unrestricted
driver license from 16 to 17. This bill, ap-
proved last Thursday by the Transportation
Committee, aims to reduce the number of
accidents incurred by the youngest drivers.
Nationally 40 percent ofall 16-year-old driv-
drs are involved in an accident requiring a
police report. Also, a severely disproportion-
ate percentage of all fatal traffic accidents
involve teenagers.
This bill, if passed, would begin to treat
giving as an earned privilege, not an inher-
ent right. It deserves serious consideration, if
for no reason other than the staggering teen-
age accident rate.
The bill, which would take effect in 1997,
also aims to tackle the state's lax driver
education requirements - the source of the
problem of unprepared drivers. Learner's
permits would be issued three months earlier
than the previous 15-year-old minimum to
fulfill a mandate that 50 hours of driving time
be logged with a parent or guardian. Finally,
the bill would restore the state-administered
road test, a much-needed aspect of driver
education that was dropped more than 15
years ago.
To strengthen parental involvement, stu-
dents would be required to attend an hour-
long class with one of their parents. When
these conditions are met, the teen would
e,. nrptrirtsrA lirnceP at ace 1 which

or education. This provision hopes to dis-
courage drunk driving, a leading cause of
fatal accidents involving teens. Also, should
the teen be involved in a accident, or receive
a moving violation in the six months prior to
the 17th birthday, he or she would not receive
a unrestricted license at that time.
Like Michigan's motorcycle helmet and
safety-belt regulations, these new laws would
not require a significant increase in state or
municipal police forces. The statutes can be
effectively enforced when a driver is stopped
for a moving violation. The cost posed to law
enforcement would certainly be negligible,
especially compared to the cost incurred in a
serious traffic incident. In terms of law en-
forcement, rescue operations, cleanup and
repairs and judicial expenditures, a few driv-
ing lessons and road tests would be quite
worth their value.
In light of mounting statistical informa-
tion on the dangers posed by drivers under
the age of 21, any increased costs that may
arise would be perfectly justifiable. These
regulations would emphasize to beginning
drivers that driving is a privilege, not a right.
The increased focus on preparation should
instill in teens an increased respect for the
importance of mature and responsible driv-
Too many teens receive their licenses
based on a written test and little practical
experience in the driver's seat. Even if their
nrimnrv instructors - their narents - are

To the Daily:
I felt that the only way that I
could bring myself to peace was
by voicing my comments and
questions. I took it upon myself
to write the following in response
to the column by Michael
Rosenberg ("A house divided,"
Blacks feel triumphant and
believejustice was served. Whites
think the court system failed them.
However, to believe that this was
only about race is blatantly poor
logic. Sure, we saw photographs
of interracial business offices, law
firms and university squares
around the nation with the same
reaction. But let's consider this.
Orenthal J. Simpson is not free
today because he is black. He is
free because he had money. Any-
one who thinks that this is a "win"
for the black man is very wrong.
It is a win for those on the top of
the economic ladder. "Any black
man who thinks that this case w il
help him get out of trouble in the
future better hope he wins the
lottery," wrote Mitch Albom,
Everyone has lost sight ofwhat
the real issue was - and still is.
Two innocent people were bru-
tally murdered, and no one is pay-
ing for it. All of the evidence
pointed to one man - one man
who was heard on 911 recordings
calling his wife a "bitch" and yell-
ing "I am going to kill you" days
before her dead body was found
in her yard. But who is behind
bars to avenge her death? No one.
Why? One juror, after the pains-
takingly long deliberation (as if
they gave it a chance), said, "Well,
someone gotta, someone gotta
lose."Try telling that to the Brown
and Goldman families.

To the Daily:
In response to Michael
Rosenberg's "A house divided,"
Michael in my opinion hit the nail
on the head. As we progress in
years away from the time of seg-
regation, many feel we are also
progressing away from racism.
Unfortunately today, when under
the law all people are equal, they
are not. It is just more silent now.
I don't believe people go around
muttering racist comments in their
heads, rather it is more of a sub-
conscious thinking. As Michael
points out, there is a severe lack
of understanding of those of an-
other race. And this leads to sepa-
ration, whether we like it or not or
whether or not we believe our-
selves to be tolerant and open-
I experienced a lot of this first
handthis summer. I was involved,
for the first time, in an interracial
relationship. Throughout it, I
learned about the differences be-
tween races and cultures. I real-
ized in the beginning how little I
understood his background and
lifestyle. When I look back, I can
acknowledge this is one reason
there are still race problems.
To help solve the problems in
this country we don't necessarily
need to understand other cultures
entirely. Rather, we need to sim-
ply recognize that there are dif-
ferences. And most of all, many
of us need to stop deceiving our-
selves into thinking we are all just
fine. Perhaps this is the one posi-
tive aspect of the whole long O.J.
trial. Many people just need to
stop now, take a look inside them-
selves and realize the role that
their ignorance and subconscious
racism are playing in the prob-

career so he turned his back on
the mob. But they held something
over his head. The mob killed
Nicole to get to O.J. probably
because he, Nicole or both owed
money. Ron Goldman was just in
the wrong place at the wrong time.
I dismissed this theory at first
because it did not seem to hold
water. But as the trial went on, it
all came together. Faye Resnick,
one of Nicole's closest friends, is
exposed as having a drug prob-
lem. Marcus Allen denies any
claims that he had an affair with
Nicole. The defense tries to sub-
poena him and it is quashed in
Kansas City. Evidently, the de-
fense was trying to show that O.J.
does not fly off the handle and
hold grudges because O.J. let
Marcus Allen get married at
Rockingham. Denise Brown
starts a battered women's help
organization in her sister's name
and has to fire her chief executive
officer because he himself is a
wife-beater. Then it comes out
that Denise is dating one of the
Fiato brothers, FBI informants in
the witness-protection program
and former mob strongmen.
Think about it. Everybody in-
volved has a checkered past. Ev-
erybody is holding something
back. And everybody has an
agenda. Remember Ron Shipp,
the alkie cop who brownnoses
O.J. for perks. He was worse than
Kato if you ask me. What really
got me though was how distraught
he was over Nicole. Even more
so than Denise. Remember how
he supposedly had not taken a
drink in years yet he was dipping
in the bubbly after he heard the
news? What gives? It sounds like
he and Nicole were -more than
iust friends. And why did he tes-

I also give a thumbs up to the
prosecution even though it
seemed like they were out of their
league. No one showed the com-
munication skills necessary to
hold interest. Their tone was ei-
ther monotonous or accusatory
and after nine months, I am sure
that the jury was tired of the nega-
tivity. But they did well consider-
ing how this fiasco waiting to
happen was dropped in their laps.
Oh, and to Christopher Darden,
"You go token boy!"
I give a thumbs down to Judge
Ito, Gil Garcetti and the appellate
court. Judge Ito was bullied
throughout the whole trial by the
attorneys and his superiors. It was
painfully obvious that he made
the wrong decision in allowing in
the Rockingham evidence. He
definitely folded under the pres-
sure from the district attorney's
office and the powers that be.
And he knew he had made a mis-
take when the Fuhrman tapes
came out. So what did he do? He
tried to minimize their effect by
allowing so little of it to come out
in the trial. Sound like damage
control to you? He is lucky he did
not have a riot on his hands when
he did not allow all of those tapes
and transcripts to come into evi-
Well anyway, the verdict is
out. And people have to start put-
ting their lives back together. But,
the media really does not care.
This case was not about O.J.,
Nicole or Ron; it was about people
trying to further their careers and
make money. Just ask Geraldo
Rivera. Just ask Marcia Clark.
Just ask Gil Garcetti. Just ask the
tabloids. Just ask the Inside Edi-
tions and Hard Copies andAmeri-
can Journals. Just ask Fox 2



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