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Abilene Reporter News Newspaper Archive: November 23, 1970 - Page 1

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Publication: Abilene Reporter News

Location: Abilene, Texas

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   Abilene Reporter-News, The (Newspaper) - November 23, 1970, Abilene, Texas                               "WITHOUT OR WITH OFFENSE TO FRIENDS OR FOES WE SKETCH YOUR WORLD EXACTLY AS IT BOTH YEAR. NO. 163 PHONE 6734271 ABILENE, TEXAS. 79604, MONDAY EVENING, NOVEMBER 23, 1970-TH1RTY-TWO PAGES IN FOUR SECTIONS IQc DAILY-25c SUNDAY Auociated Second iirS-Parf Series Texas Penal Code From 'Another World By JON STANDEFEn Reporter-News Stall Writer On March 1968, the day Al White was formally sentenced to five years for the murder of his wife, another man in the same district court at Palo Pinto was also given a term in the state prison. His crime: swindling. His sentence: 10 years. Part of the reason for uneven sentences can be attributed to the in some cases, the lack of is written Into the law itself. There are many questionable distinctions In-the Texas Penal Code: theft of six bushels or more of oranges is punishable by up to 10 years In the penitentiary, but theft of a truckload of watermelons is punishable by a maximum fine. Assault with intent lo murder has a maximum punishment of 25 years, but assault with intent to rape has a maximum of life. Judge Raleigh Brown of the 42nd District Court cites a comparison of check swindling and forgery. "The maximum punishment for check Brown says, "is 10 years, while the maximum for forgery is only seven. I personally feel that man signing someone else's name lo a a more serious crime than check swindling, which could be giving a worthless check in your own name." But the law apparently feels differently. THE PATCHWORK QUILT known as the Texas Penal Code is more than 1M years old; when it was put into effect in 1856, there were only people living in only four per cent of Uiem were living in towns. As Dean Page Keeton ol the University of Texas Law School said in a recent speech: "In 1856 Darwin's 'Origin of Species' had not yet been published, and another half century would pass before Freud's theories of the personality would scandalize the civilized world. .the Texas Penal Code reflects the values and concerns of an earlier world." Keeton, who is chairman of the Penal Code Revision Project, noted that horse theft and cattle theft were accorded more severe punishments (10 years maximum) than murder without malice (five years and that a woman who commits an offense at the command or persuasion of her husband Is liable to no more than one- half Uie maximum punishment authorized for the offense. what wife these days EVER acts at tho command or persuasion of her Keeton asked.) There's a law against keeping a "bawdy presumably a brothel, and though the maximum punishment for this misdemeanor offense is 20 days In jail and a J200 fine, the punishment for "keeping liquor In a bawdy house'1 may run up to 90 days in jail and a Tine. The fact that many out-of-date laws are simply not enforced is no excuse for not ridding the books of them, argues Seth Searcy, director of the Texas Penal Code Revision project. Searcy points out the possibility of selective enforcement, meaning the law could be used against some, not used against others. "And every one of these archaic, Idiotic laws has that he says. ABILENE ATTORNEY Davis Scarborough says, "The Legislature acted wisely in giving the Jury latitude In fixing sentences." But that very latitude, for certain crimes, has caused what amounts to a judicial backlash. For first-offense possession of marijuana, for instance, the range of possible punishments Is from two years to life Imprisonment. Despite these extremes, a young person who pleads guilty to that charge before either Judge Brown or Judge Neil Daniel (104th district) will most likely receive a six-year, probated sentence. Since last May, every such case In the two courts has resulted in just that sentence, with the exeption of one eight-year probated sentence and another probated for nine years. While both Judges go to lengths lo explain they would consider higher or lower sentences depending upon the case, they make it clear the six-year probated figure is about what a youth can least for the time being. In fact, the district attorney usually doesn't even make a recommendation In such cases, according to one judge, since the sentences have been standardized. Judge Brown explains his reasoning: "Most of these cases involve young people, and while I don't want to send them to prison on the first offense, I make a probation long enough so they'll have time to mature." lie adds that when a youthful offender serves out his term of probation (often only a part of the term) in good standing, the youth can file a motion to expunge his record. Brown says he routinely grants such the youth has stayed out of allows the offender to regain his civil rights, such as voting, which is denied the convicted felon. AN AREA of apparent disparity In least lo the general that of sentences given for murder. The Al While trial Is a prime example. When the former highway patrolman admitted on the witness stand In Palo Pinto that he killed his wife, the all-man jury convicted him of murder without malice, and gave him the maximum sentence for that years in prison. Much of the public outcry protested the sentence as being too and they were not alone. Recently several members of that jury told The Reporter-News they loo were upset. The five-year maximum, said one, "was one of the things that we as a group objected to later, after we had found out." A question here: should a jury be tnld, before they decide the guilt or Innocence of a defendant, what the maximum and minimum prison terms are, or would this knowledge prejudice them? Until a few years ago, juries decided the guilt question and set punishment at ore sitting. They were, therefore, charged as lo possible verdicts and at the same lime Informed of range of punishment. When the revised Code of Criminal Procedure was adopted, however, the decision process of the jury was bifurcated split into two parts: first the finding of guilt or innocence, then deliberation of sentence. It was felt that the sentencing portion should not be considered when deciding on the guilty-or-lnnoccnt Issue. Judge Daniel says he would declare an Immediate mistrial if the jury was informed of possible punishments before they had decided a defendant was guilty. Most other judges here agree that the range of punishment should not be Included in the Soo LAWS, Pg. 2-A Guinea Claims Halted ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) The government of Guinea claimed today that mercenaries hired by Portugal tried through the night to land on its shores but Guincan forces repulsed them. The U.N. Security Council at an emergency meeting Sunday night called for the immediate withdrawal of all foreign forces in the West African country and agreed lo send an investigating mission. Auto Insurance Up 18 Per Cent AUSTIN (AP) The State Insurance Board's staff recom- mended new car insurance rates today that would average an 18 6 per cent increase statewide if the board follows Its long-stand- ing rule limiting any increase to 25 per cejit. Should the board abandon the 25 per cent rule, however, Ihe increase would average 23 per rent for private passenger cars. The proposed new rates are based on the board's recently an- nounced policy that lhe invest- ment income of car insurance companies should be directly considered In rate making. Formulas for both liability and property damage coverage in- cluded an allowance of 8.78 per cent of each premium dollar for state and federal taxes and a 4.7 per cent after taxes profit from actual insurance writings. If the board's staff had fol- lowed Ihe formulas it has used for a number of years, the In- dicated statewide Increase would have been only 11.6 per cent for private passenger cars. All Indicators Up At 4lh Hour End Industrials were up 4.52, trans- portation was up 1.07, and utili- ties were up 1.34, at Ihe end of fourth hour trading Monday on Ihe New York Slock Exchange. The New York Composite was up .21. Volume was shares, reported the Abilene of- fice of Schneider, Bcmet and llickman. Inc. The proposed new statewide average rate Increase breaks down into 16.2 per cent for lia- See AUTO, I'g. S-A Top Dollar Sels Opening Top Dollar Stores announced Monday that it will open its 200th store In downtown Abilene al the.northwest corner of N. 2nd and Pine with the grand opening set for Monday, Nov. 30. Sam Newt Pederson will manage Ihe store, which will ob- serve regular store hours of Ihe other retail stores In Ihe area. Each of Ihe Top Dollar units Is a compact, budget store designed for self-selection of merchandise. Top Dollar Stores, a chain founded 14 years ago, feature low to medium-priced apparel, shoes, small housewares, auto- mobile accessories, ceramics, chinaware, linens, piece goods, toys and sporting goods. The Abilene store wiil feature a health and beauty aids depart- ment, with nationally-advertised items. The Jasper, Ala., based company has stores in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Caro- lina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Virginia, Texas and New Mexico. Ray Lewis, Realtor, and Shei- la Thornton, Associate, handled the leasing of the store to Top Dollar Stores. "The fight has not Marxist President Sekou Toure's government said today in a broadcast from Conakry, Ihe capital. "The enemy is still here. All night he tned to di- sembark other mercenaries, but in vain Thus the second day of the war that Portuguese colo- nialism has imposed upon us Is beginning." Earlier broadcasts from Con- akry charged that about 350 Eu- ropean and African mercenaries under Ihe Portuguese flag at- tacked the Defense Ministry and the airport early Sunday to di- vert Guincan troops from north- ern and middle Guinea. They said the town of Boke, about 100 miles northwest of the capital near the frontier with Portu- guese Guinea, probably would be invaded next. "All the points of resistance are entirely the pmernment radio said after the first landings. The radio reported captured Invaders said six lo 10 ships left Bissau, Portuguese Guinea's capital, moored in Gulnean ter- ritorial waters and sent in boals with the landing party. In a personal appeal lo U.N. Secretary-General U Thant, President Toure of Guinea said his country "was the object of aggression by the Portuguese armed forces." He appealed for a force of U.N. troops to help wipe out "Ihe last positions oc- cupied by the Portuguese mer- cenaries and to pursue the ag- gressors' ships from our territo- rial waters." The Portuguese government In Lisbon said Guinea's charge of Portuguese involvement in Sec GUINEA, Pg. 6-A NEWS INDEX Amuscmcntl SB Bndqe 5C Clossified S-7D Comics Edilcrioli 2C Horoscope 4C Hospital Pelientt 8A Otntuann 2A Sporti cS-SC To Your Gocd Health 5B TV Log ____ Women'i Nfwj 3B Unhappy Anniversary Three-year-old Troy Fowlkes touches bust of lale President John F. Kennedy Sunday at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn. Sunday was seventh anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas. (AP Wirephoto) Egyptian Warplanes Buzz Israeli Posts Along Suez TKI, AVIV (AP) Egyptian warplanes flew along almost Uie entire length of the Suez Canal today, passing over Israeli army emplacements in violation of the cease-fire, the Israeli mil- itary charged. Egyptian planes also Hew over Israeli positions on Sun- day, a spokesman claimed. Two complaints were lodged with U.N. truce supervision au- thorities one for each over- flieht. he said. In both cases, two pairs of So- viet-made Sukhol SU7s sped Why Must Voters Sign Ballot Stub? Ily ELUE nUCKKfl Q. I'd like a satisfactory answer as lo why voters must sign a slab which matches In number Ihelr ballot This teems lo be a deliberate Invasion of the voter's privacy as officials could match anyone's ticket lo Ihdr ballot If Ihcy were Interested. Unman nature bring what It Is, I'm sure, at times, they ARE Inlrrestrd. Tie official at my precinct showed me the "seal1' on the ticket box a red ribbon which could be nnllcd by any Child. I've moird lo Abilene and never voted where machines weren't used. I sincerely would like to know WHY the signature requirement. A The Texas Election Code requires the Hub to be signed when paper ballots are used In case an election Is contested. When It's contested, the stub box can be opcnul, hut nnlv by the court's order. The ribbon haj Randall Wood, iud Ui director of elections In y bavcn't bad real problems with this system because the stub boxes are opened only under the supervision of the courts and your ballot wouldn't be touched anyway, unless you voted Illegally. If a person were to open the stub box while in the voting precinct, it would tell him nothing because only the voter's name ts on the stub, there's no Indication as to HOW that person voted on the stub itself, and the ballots are separated from the stubs and kept in a locked box. Q. My family would like very much lo have some of the sen-Icemen at Dyess In our home for Thanksgiving dinner. There are, I Imagine, many servicemen out there who will not be able lo spend Thanksgiving with their families, hut how lo find (hem? A. Call the Base Information Office al 69R- 2161, CapL Mary Morin will put you In touch with some of (he airmen who would really appreciate your offer. P. S. Col. Jim Reeves, Deputy Commander for Operations of the SAW, thinks you have a wonderful Ideal q. We (ol Ihe deer, now we'd like to mount Ihe brail. Is there an easy method of doing this? The head Isn't large, only has two antlers so we don't want to spend a lot ol money having It professionally mounted. Does It need lo he treated and If so with whal do we treat U? A. You won't want It around for long if It's not treated; you'll soon have a rotten, smelly deer head with bugs In It. Unfortunately there's just not a simple method of mounting a deer head. It's a complicated process that requires special tools and procedures. You'll be happier with the end result If you take the head to a taxidermist. It costs about q. The gracious ladles I r o m Ihe AAUW have again had their annual book sale. This Is i most worthy tndeator. However, those books are donations from Abilene cltltens, through non-paid appeals generously made by the press and radio. II has been noted lor years that the ladles have had Ihelr own private sale (members only) prior lo Ihe public sale, V thereby skimming the cream ol Ihe desirable books. The ladles are evasive when Inquiry' has been made regarding Ihe propriety of Ihls "special" sale. What will be Ihelr explanation lo you? A. It's done as a favor to the members in appreciation for their work and the hours spent in organizing the sale. The book sale is a year-long project on which all the members work and the money raked from the sale goes hack into the community a sculpture Is being purchased for the City Library wiih the proceeds. Book Sale Chairman Sylvia Newman said the club didn't realize this was offending anyone and she's truly sorry 'hat It did because Ihe people of Abilene had been so helpful In this endeavor. Pro-sales for club members are becoming relallvtly common practice following the trend set by some stores who have sales for "special" customers only. Address lo Action Une, Hot 30, Abilene. Tetan Names will not he used hut questions mutt he signed and aittre.vMt glim. Please Include telephone numbers U possible. along the canal, apparently on reconnaissance missions. No bombs were dropped, there was no strafing, and the Israelis did not fire on the planes, he added. It was tte first time since the U.S.-initiated canal was extended Nov. 6 that Israrl has complained of alleged breaches by Egypt. (Egypt's deputy minister of Information, Munir Hafez, de- nied in Cairo that any Egyptian planes had flown across the cease-fire line Sunday and ac- cused the Israelis of trying lo "seize world public During the first 90-day cease- fire period Israel complained frequently that Egypt was mov- ing missiles closer to the canal. Tho Israelis several times pub- lished aerial photographs of missiles allegedly brought Into the canal zone, and Uie United WEATHElT U.I. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Htarhir larvlca (Wtaintr Map Pi. IA1 ABILENE AND VICINITY fti mllo radiutl Partly cloudy and vrrv cold tndtr and lonlgM. lurnlrfl a warmtr TutuUy. far Today tow aO'l, In" Ionian! 30. Mich Turtajy about VV.ndi northerly al 1133 m.p h torMY. liqni from nonh Tuttdty. No raui fcrKail. TEMPEIATUIEI Swrtdir fj.m. ....Mandav a.m. 41 ;t 11 r It a i.on 11 seo :f u t.n :i II 100 71 34 M tl 11 WOO J> M ..'.I -A yMr- 17 and 31. and trw for Mtt 71 aM 
                            

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