New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, June 8, 1995, Page 4

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

June 08, 1995

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Issue date: Thursday, June 8, 1995

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 8, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas fWHerakJ-Zeitung ■ Thursday, June 8,1895 Opinion ■ To talk with Managing Editor Doug Loveday about the Opinion page, call 625-9144, ext. 21 ™■ ■anas amomum mmumm mmsm i 0 gQ| d - Z e i i t u n 9 Opinion Online contact ■ To submit letters and guest columns electronically by way of online services or Internet, or to simply contact staff members, the Herald-Zeitung’s address is [email protected] Q U 0 T A B L E “There are some words that close a conversation like an iron door.” — Alexandre Dumas playwright/novelist, 1844 EDITORIAL Heroic deed Rescue of downed pilot an example of American know-how, bravery For six days, U.S. Capt. Scott F. O’Grady evaded capture in the woods of Bosnia after his F-16 was shot down by a Serbian sur-face-to-air-missile. With both Serbian gunners and American rescue personnel searching for his whereabouts, O’Grady was able to maintain his composure, outwit the enemy and successfully make radio contact with his rescuers. Britain and France and several other countries presently have members of their forces (now serving with the United Nations) being held as hostages by the Serbians. Americans are all-too familiar with hostage taking and the real feelings of helplessness and anger associated with that cowardly act. Although we sympathize with those troops being held by the Serbians, Americans should rejoice about the rescue of one American pilot. After weeks, months and years of dreary news from the battlefields of Bosnia, O’Grady’s rescue is welcomed news indeed O’Grady’s own bravery (of which we’re sure to hear more about) is commendable enough, but so is the work of the large team sent in to retrieve him. U.S. Marines flying two CH-53 helicopters landed just 50 yards from where O’Grady was hiding. A Marine rescue team took part, as did Cobra helicopters, Harrier jets, AWACS radar planes and other support aircraft, according to Adm. Leighton Smith. O’Grady didn’t need much help on the ground, however, as he made the dash from his safe hiding spot to the helicopters. Our military should be commended for using so many resources for the rescue of one downed pilot We should also be thankful we have the resources available and the personnel trained to use them to pull off an operation like this. The next time budget cutters take a stab at military expenditures, they would be wise to remember the rescue of Capt. Scott F. O’Grady. (Today's editorial was written by Managing Editor Doug Loveday) Write us • • • The New Braun ft Ie Herald-Zeitung welcomes letters on any public issue. The editor reserves the right to correct spelling, style, punctuation and known factual errors. Letters should be kept to 850 words. We publish only original mail addressed to The Ntw Braunfels Herald-Zeitung bearing the writer's signature. Also, an address and a telephone number, which are not for publication, must be included. Please cite the page number and date of any article that is mentioned. Preference is given to writers who have not been published in the previous 30 days. Mail letters to: Letters to the Editor c/o The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung P.O. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, Texas 78131-1328 Fax: (210) 625-1224 New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung Editor and Publisher............................................................David Sullens General Manager............................................................Cheryl Duvall Managing Editor...........................................................Doug Loveday Advertising Director  .............................................Tracy    Stevens Circulation Director...................................................Carol Ann Avery Pressroom Foreman..................................................Douglas Brandt Classified Manager........................................................Laura    Cooper City Editor ...............................................................Roger    Croteau Published un Sunday mornings and weekday mornings Tuesday through Friday by the New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (USPS 377-880) 7(J7 Lamia St. or P.O. Drawer 311328, New Braunf els, Comal County, Tx. 78131 -1328. Second class postage paid by Am New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung in New Braunfels, Texas. Comer delivered in Comal and Guadalupe counties: three months, $19; six months, $34; one year, $60. Senior Citizen Discounts by conia delivery only: six months, $30; one year, $36. Mail delivery outside Comal Gxmty in Texas: three months, $28.80, six months, $52; one year, $97.30. Mail outside Texas: six months, $75; one year, $112.25. Subscribers who have not received a newspaper by 3:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday or by 7:30 a m. on Sunday may call (210) 625-9144 or by 7 p.m. weekdays or by 11 a.m on Sunday. PosTMASThx: Send address changes lo Am New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, P.O. Drawer 311328. New Braunfels, Tx. 78131-1328Rape victims9 rights get boost In “Sisters in Crime,'’ author Freda Adler noted that “rape is the only crime in which the victim becomes the accused." Incredibly, victims of sexual assault too often are compelled to submit to polygraph testing. Although the test results are inadmissible as evidence in Texas courts, officers sometimes decline to press charges when victims refuse to take lie detector tests. Beginning Sept 1,1995, however, rape victims no longer will be required to add the trauma of taking a lie detector test to the trauma caused by the crime perpetrated against them. Senate Bill 222 by Zaffirini and Rep. Debra Danburg (D.-Houston) prohibits a peace officer from requiring a polygraph examination of an alleged victim of sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, incest or indecency with a child. SB 222 allows an attorney for the state to request a polygraph examination if the attorney informs the victim that the test is not required and that the case cannot be dropped solely because of die results of the test or the victim’s refusal to take it. Gov. George W. Bush signed the bill after senators and representatives passed it unanimously. This was my 5th attempt to pass this bill that I first sponsored in 1989 at the request of Rep. Juan Hinojosa (D.-McAllen). Although similar legislation passed both houses in 1989, Gov. Bill Clements vetoed the Hinojosa/Zaf-firini bill because of an amendment that prohibited administering polygraphs to police officers. The Senate later passed Zaffirini’s bill during a special session, but it died in a House committee. The Senate passed similar bills by Zaffirini during the Judith Zaffirini 72nd and 73rd legislatures, but again they died in House committees. Six years after Rep. Hinojosa asked me to sponsor his House bill, Texas law finally will ensure that victims of violent sexual crimes, most of them women and children, no longer have to fear that their rights will •be violated to protect their attackers. “It has been a long battle to get this legislation passed. We worked tirelessly every year to convince legislators of its importance,” said Georgie Rasco, public policy specialist for the Texas Council on Family Violence. Law officers rarely ask victims of other crimes such as burglary and simple assault to submit to polygraph tests before processing their complaints. Requesting that victims take polygraph tests perpetuates the gross misconception that complainants of sexual assault probably are lying. Statistics from the FBI do not support that belief. The number of false allegations in sexual assault crimes are comparable to false reports in other crimes, approximately 2 percent, according to the FBI. “A rape victim is asking herself, ‘How did I let this happen?’ and then is asked to take a polygraph test to prove she is telling the truth. The request adds to the trauma of the crime committed against her," said Rasco. A polygraph test measures a person’s heart and breathing rates and skin responses to questioning by a licensed examiner. The highly emotional and traumatic state of an assault victim can produce the types of physiological reactions that result in negative indicators in a polygraph exam. This knowledge motivated the Texas Police Chiefs Association and the Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas to support SB 222. Currently, law officers can drop charges when victims do not “pass” exams. Frequently, the ordeal of a polygraph test discourages victims from proceeding with complaints. Requiring a polygraph examination also may seriously impede the healing process of a sexual assault survivor, particularly a child. Being believed and supported is important in the healing process, according to Lacy Sloan, state organizer for the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault. Connecticut, Illinois, New York and Pennsylvania banned the use of polygraph examinations in sexual assault cases. It is high time that Texas halts the practice of {^victimizing victims. “We will be monitoring the law to ensure it is applied in the manner the legislature intended," said Sloan. “There is nothing more critical in criminal law than protecting the rights of victims, particularly victims of sexual assault Once again, the concern and perseverance of dedicated people have paid off in passing this bill," said Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock. (Judith Zaffirini is a Texas state senator.) Anti-terrorism bill finds bipartisan support WASHINGTON (AP) — After weeks of sniping, President Clinton and Republicans now are claiming victory in the Senate's passage of m^jor new anti-terrorism legislation and pressing the House to follow suit quickly. The measure, inspired by the April 19 Oklahoma City bombing, passed Wednesday by a 91 -8 vote. The $2 billion package includes provisions sought by Clinton to enlarge federal law enforcement agencies and the government’s wiretapping authority and allow use of the military in emergencies involving chemical or biological weapons. In addition, the bill would stringently Ijmit appeals by death-row inmates, a change long pushed by Republicans. At the White House, Clinton hailed the Senate’s bipartisan vote — 52 Republicans and 39 Democrats supported the bill — and expressed the hope that the legislation would forestall another attack like the one that killed 168 people at the federal building Today In History By The Associated Press Today is Thursday, June 8, the 159th day of 1995. There are 206 days left in the year. Today'* Highlight in History: On June 8, 632 A.D., the prophet Mohammed died. Mohammed's teachings, recorded in the Koran, forged a new religion, Islam. On this date: la 1845, 150 years ago, Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United Slates, died in Nashville, Tenn. In 1861, Tennessee seceded from the Union. In 1876, author George Sand died in Nohant, France. Analysis in downtown Oklahoma City. “This legislation will give law enforcement the tools it needs to do everything possible to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening again," the president said. “It will also help us prosecute and punish terrorists more effectively.” Clinton sent a $1.5 billion anti-terrorism measure to Congress a week after the bombing. In his statement Wednesday, Clinton urged the House — where a comparable bill is pending — “to do its part and get a bill on my desk without delay.” The same sentiment was expressed on Capitol Hill. “I hope the House will act swiftly to join the Senate in sending a clear message to terrorists that atrocities like the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building will not be tolerated,” said Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla. The bipartisan concord contrasted with the recent weeks of political snip ing between Clinton and Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., who blamed each other for delaying the legislation. Dole, who is seeking the GOP presidential nomination, wrote the bill with Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. By Wednesday, Dole was thanking Clinton for his efforts in discouraging Democratic amendments to the bill. “No doubt about it, the president's involvement has helped speed up the process here in the Senate," Dole said. In addition to some liberal Democrats, civil libertarians and several ethnic groups have objected to the Senate and House bills. The Center for Constitutional Rights called the measures “tough, not on terrorism, but on civil liberties.” Donald Haines, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said, “We remain most concerned that we do not, out of a heightened fear of the threat of terrorism, throw out the civil liberties and constitutional rights that liave defined us as a land of free dom.” Before Wednesday's vote, the Senate rejected four Democratic amendments aimed at tempering the bill’s limits on prisoners' appeals, which include a one-year limit for death-row inmates to appeal their sentences. Republicans say the limits are needed to stem what they say is frivolous, repetitive litigation by death-row prisoners that delays their executions for years and frustrates victims’ families. “Talk about an abusive system,” Hatch said. “Is there no finality to the just decisions of the court?” Clinton supports some tightening of such “habeas corpus” death row appeals but initially didn’t want it in the anti-terrorism bill. He reversed that position Monday night and accepted its inclusion in the legislation. On Tuesday night, Democrats dropped most of the gun-control amendments they had wanted in the bill, clearing the way for its passage. In 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt offered to act as a mediator in the Russo-Japanese War. In 1915, Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan resigned in a disagreement over U.S. handling of the sinking of the Lusitania. In 1942, Bing Crosby recorded “Adeste Fideles” and “Silent Night” in Los Angeles for Decca Records. In 1953, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that restaurants in the District of Columbia could not refuse to serve blacks. In 1966, a merger was announced between the National and American Football leagues, to lake effect in 1970. In 1967, 34 U.S. servicemen were killed when Israeli forces raided the Liberty, a Navy ship stationed in the Mediterranean. Israel called the attack a tragic mistake. In 1968, authorities announced the capture in London of James Earl Ray, the suspected assassin of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In 1978, a jury in Clark County, Nev., ruled the so-called “Mormon will,” purportedly written by the late billionaire Howard Hughes, was a forgery. In 1982, President Reagan became the first American chief executive to address a joint session of the British Parliament. Ten years ago: Creme Fraichc won the 117th running of the Belmont Stakes, the first gelding to win the race. Five years ago: Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir announced he had succeeded in forming a new right-wing coalition government, ending a 3-month-old political crisis. ;

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