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Cedar Rapids Gazette: Wednesday, June 19, 1974 - Page 9

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   Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - June 19, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa                                New openness impends Plea-bargaining shroud drops KillianS By Sandra Stencel OMSIil.XliTON The fonslitutiiiii W guarantees every American ac- cused uf a serious crime (he right tu Irial in jury, itie right to confront witnesses against him, and the right In he proven guilty by proof beyond a reasonable doubt. But the vast majority of criminal defendants never have their day in court. It is estimated that itll percent of all criminal convictions arc hasei) defendant's own plea of guilty. Many, though not all. of these pleas are Hie direct result of negotiations known as plea bargaining. The term refers tu a pro-arraignment "deal" bi-tween the prosecution and the defense in which the defendant is offered a lenient sentence if lie agrees to plead guilty, perhaps to a lesser charge, in most jurisdictions, plea negotiations arc informal and off-tin-, record, sometimes conducted in hurried whispers in the courtroom and through the bars of a jail. Starting AUK. 1. however, plea bar- gaining in the federal courts will be sub- ject to formal rules barring an unex- pected rejection by congress. On that day the supreme court's proposed revisions of the Federal Hules of Criminal Procedure are due In take effect. Under the new rules, any plea agreement worked out by federal prosecutors and defense attorneys must be presented in Opinion Page Ideas Judgments Views Insights Comments Insights The tendency is to be broad- minded about ofher people's se- curity. Arisfide Briand open court for the judge to accept or reject. If it is accepted, the defendant is as- sured of receiving a lighter sentence than lie could expect if tried and convicted. If the agreement is rejected, the defendant is given an opportunity to change bis plea. The change of rules conirs at a time when publicity about plea bargaining by Watergate defendants has aroused public awareness of the procedure and a new round of criticism in the legal profession. The most publicized case of plea bar- gaining in recent years involved Vice- president Spiro T. Agnow. He resigned from office, pled no contest In a single charge of income tax evasion and stayed oul of prison. Though his case did not relate directly to the Watergate scandals, it coincided with plea bargaining by Watergate defendants. At least eight of these defendants have pled guilty after engag- ing in plea bargaining and the sentences imposed so far have been considered mild to the point of public controversy. This was true especially fur Richard G. Kleindicnst, the former attorney general. He drew one month of nnsupervised probation after pleading guilty to a mis- demeanor charge that oi testifying inaccurately to a congressional commit- tee rather than face the possibility of a felony charge of perjury. Among the other seven Frederick C. LaRue, Egil Krogh, jr.; Job Stuart Miigrudi-r, John W Dean, Donald II Segrclti. Herbert W Kalmbacli. and Herbert I, I'oiler none so far has received a sentence as severe as that riven another Watergate defendant. Dwight I. Chapm. who stood trial and was convicted Special Prosecutor I.eon .laworski like many others in the legal profession, includini' ''Im-f .lustier- F Burger defends pica bargaining. "I personally believe strongly that plea bargaining is a very fan and appropriate method of disposing of a case." .laworski recently said m a I'.S. News World Report interview However right or wrong it may be, America is likely to hear mure about plea bargaining in the months ahead. It has even been suggested as a method of relieving President Nixon of his Water- gate troubles in return for his resig- nation. Rep. Wilbur Mills chair- man of the house ways and means com- mittee, has offered to sponsor a lull in congress to grant Nixon immunity from criminal prosecution and any civil suits against him arising from Watergate is- sues if he would resign. "The biggest obstacle to Mr. .Vision's resignation may be his fear uf going to journalist I. F. Stone wrote last fall. "As President." Stone said, "he has the power to hamper investigation, drag out litigation, and block his own prosecution." Speculating on the possibility of presidential plea bargaining. Time magazine commented "It is scarcely likely that the public would put up with legislators voting to pass a special bill that would then have to be signed by its intended beneficiary." Anyway, accord- ing to the President's former speechwriter William Safire, "Mr. Nixon is not the type to plea bargain." Whether plea bargaining ever reaches the presidential level, :t has been dragged out from the shadows of American criminal justice into the light of public scrutiny, and an outpouring of critical commentary has followed. EUilorlol Research Reports The Cedar Rapids Gazette: Wed.. June 19, 1974 9A BUDGET Primer for the wirebound Tyrannized by call contraption By Russell Baker rpHIS is a telephone. It is not making a JL sound. See how quiet the telephone is. See how happy it looks. Why does the telephone look so happy? It looks happy because it is making money without doing any work. It is congratulating itself upon being such a clever machine. It is thinking that this man in whose house it is living will soon be giving it even more money to let it take up room in his house. Look at the man. Can you see the strange hand removing money from his pocket? It is very hard to see. You must look very closely. The hand does not belong to the man. It belongs to the telephone. The hand is collecting the money the telephone charges the man for living in his house. Every year the telephone charges the man for just sitting there doing nothing. Is this man not dumber than any you have ever seen? He has shelves of books which also sit in his house doing nothing, but he would be very angry if one of the books put its hand in his pocket and removed for the privilege of taking up house space. He would choke the book and call it a scoundrel and Ihrow it out of the house, would he not? Int! .ed he would. Why dues he not choke the telephone and throw it out of the house? If he did that, yon see, he would be cut off from the world. He could no longer have his dinner interrupted by real estate swindlers who want to sell him a quarter acre of swamp. He could no longer hear from bill collectors threatening to cut off his lights. He could no longer hear bad news as soon as it happened. He could no longer be communicated with by people with nothing to communicate. It a burglar broke into his house, he not call policemen who would conn- to his rescue five hours later. If he became ill he could not call a doctor who does not make house calls. The man believes it is worth a year to enjoy these blessings. The man is also happy because the telephone cares for so many widows and orphans. He has rend the telephone's advt and pre.ss releases. Me has seen the telephone's television commercials. The telephone is a fierce believer in advertising ils own goodness. F.ach year it raises the amount it charges the man in order to pay lor this advertising. The man does not complain, because Ihe ad- vertising lells him how wonderful his telephone is and how generously it con- tributes to widows and orphans who own II. Hut what is (his? Stand back, everyone! Hold niiln your money! The man is going lo use Ihe telephone. Look nl Hie telephone glow wllh ex- clleinenl. Un you know why the leleplinne is excited? The telephone is hoping the man will call somebody across the ci- tyline so it can charge him more money. It is hoping he will call somebody who lives in another city so it can charge him lots more money. It is hoping he will ask an operator to place a call for him so it can charge him lot's and lots more money. It is hoping he will call Informa- tion so it can charge him lots and lots and lots more money. It is hoping he will call someone far away and talk longer than three minutes so it can charge him lots and lots and lots and lots more money. See how dreamy the telephone looks as the man approaches it. It is dreaming of the day when it can charge him tons and tons of more money for talking more than two minutes. It is dreaming of the day when it can charge him truckloads of more money for calling someone who lives outside his block. Oh, see how cross the telephone is. The Russell Baker Way with words Misplaced By Theodore M. Bernstein THK TITLK of a scheduled address before a trade organization was, "Canada and Japan: (loud Relations .Ins! Don't Happen." As it stands, with the word just meaning simply, the title could be read as ruling out good relations; they simply don't happen. The intended meaning, of course, was that something must he done to bring about good relations; they don't simply happen. Therefore Ihe word just should appear ahead of happen. As it stands, the title is ambiguous. There are no two ways about it. Or rather there are two ways about it but Ihere shouldn't be. Whomever again. Some lime back we discussed a senlence that, boiled down, read like this: "Whomever she married would expect to be king of The decision hero in favor of whoever on the ground that Ihe word, equivalent lo "any person was Ihe subject of "would expect" and therefore should be in Ihe noiiiinallve case. Now along comes a similar but not Identical construction: "The metropoli- tan editor anil whomever he has In help him must rely largely on the telephone man is dialing his own long distance call. The telephone is cross because it will get less more money this way. It wants the man to place the call with the operator so cit can get lots more money. The telephone is so cross that it will not complete the call. It buzzes angrily at the man. See him dial again and again. It is no use. He has made the telephone too angry. The telephone is embarrassed about living in (he same house with a miser. Ah, the man has given up. He is turn- ing on his television set. He is watching a splendid commercial. It is telling him about the wonderful service his telephone provides. See the man crying. Do you know why he is crying? Do you think it is because he is reminded of all the widows and orphans his telephone is supporting? Do not be foolish, dear children. He is crying because the telephone hand in his pocket is becoming bigger and bigger and he is thinking that his telephone is conspiring to turn his wife and children into widows and orphans before their time. Will the telephone then take the poor dears under its generous care? Surely it will. But if it will, why is the telephone- winking at the television commercial? Why is the telephone licking its chops? New York Times Service and the radio." Once again the vole goes lo whoever. The word plays a dual role in Ihe senlence: It is, together with editor, the subject of the verb must rely and at the same time the object of has in (In- subordinate clause. Think o( the pronoun as meaning "any person who." Thought of that way, whoever has a built-in antecedent person which must be in Ihe nomina- tive case. If you were lo .substitute three words for the pronoun they would be "any person whom." but that does not make whomever correct. Come to think of it, whomever is a troublesome word and a gooil one to avoid. Word oddities. A four-flusher, as everyone knows, is a bluffer, a deceiver. But whence comes Ihe word? It derives from the poker term which refers In a pretense by a player that he holds five cards of a single suit, which would be a real flush, when he actually holds only four. Theodore M. Bernstein All-Weather Coats Knee length coats in balmacaan or trench styles Polyester and cotton coats have fine details. Bro ken sizes 8-18. Great color selection. Women's Sleeveless Shifts The perfect put-on for hot summer days. Colorful selection of Florida prints and stripes. Easy care shifts in sizes 10-18 and OUR BEST SELLING SHELL Back zipper styled shells are fully washable. Nylon boucle knit in several solid color choices. Sizes 34 through 40. Slacks, PRICE Easy care pants have zipper fly front. Some cuffed styles. Solid and plaid combinations. Save on these slacks now. Sizes 10 thru 18. Downstairs Budget Store and Lindale Budget Shop Girl's Short Sets Assorted short sets hove crew, v-neck and tank tops in stripes and patterns. Solid or pat terned shorts. Sizes 4 through 14. Downstairs Budget Store   

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