High Point Enterprise Newspaper Archives Jun 30 1974, Page 43

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High Point Enterprise (Newspaper) - June 30, 1974, High Point, North Carolina New attitudes toward draft evaders developing by Stoat Douthat Aster ated Prest writer Cabin Creek. W a apr Lee Stamper is a grilled Veteran of 12 yearn in the Coal mines of West Virginia and three years in the Jungles of Burma where he helped build the famed Ledo Road during world War or like thousands of other patriotic Young americans in those Days he joined the army. There was no draft in May Imo a i was an enlisted Stamper said obviously Savouring the word the term was a positive one when Hitler was terrorizing Europe and the ominous image of the rising Sun was peeping Over the Eastern horizon when the War ended Stamper and his surviving compatriots came Home to live the life they ought to preserve. In his Case it meant joining the american legion getting a Job in the mines and taking a Bride Over the years the Stamper Union begat three sons. The eldest. Donald is a big handsome lad who was Captain of the High school basketball team Donald Stamper never gave his parents cause for worry As he grew up. His father was proud of his son s athletic achievements and he s still proud of Donald now that he s married and settled Down settled Down of course May be an understatement Donald Stamper 25, has just finished serving 18 months at the Federal youth Center in Summit by. He was a draft resister. There Are Iso other draft resisters in jail today although the Vietnam truce is 18 months old and the draft ended a year ago in lieu of jail 2,000 More Young men convicted of draft resistance Are serving compulsory terms today As orderlies in government hospitals or As labourers on Federal projects. Stamper s action and the War he refused to fight Are two issues that divided this nation like few others in recent history setting father against son. But this did t happen to the stampers Quot you know Quot the elder Stamper mused in his soft husky voice Quot i think i would have done the same thing Donald did at his trial another boy charged with the same thing As Donald was scared off and joined the army. But Donald had a Chance to join even alter he was convicted and he still turned it Down Cabin Creek where Stamper makes his Home is primarily a Coal mining Community a place where Middle american values hold Sway. Perhaps for this reason Stamper s neighbors do not share his sentiments they do not say. But Stamper has lots of company across the nation according to leu hams the hams poll concluded that 43 to 45 per cent of americans now feel the country s War resisters should be Given some form of amnesty. . Government policy on the other hand is to punish those who refused to serve during the Vietnam War. Quot we have a congressional mandate and instructions to go after each Case vigorously. Says an attorney in the criminal Section of the Justice department the posture now is to the attorney whose Section Public relations Man asked that his name not be used specializes in draft resister cases he said there Are 4.200 fugitives under indictment at this time for failure to submit to the draft. Another 5.200 Young men have been indicted and Are awaiting trial he said. And 3.000 More cases have vet to resister Tony Sheehan go before a grand jury. Quot we stay he said in the first six months of fiscal 1974. 879 persons were indicted and 1,422 cases were concluded of that last figure. 445 cases ended in guilty verdicts. 63 in acquittals and 874 were dismissed he said the dismissals Quot could have been for anything but that Quot anything according to d Wesley Brown. Is a very definite trend within the Federal judiciary to throw out draft cases Quot also theres an increasing tendency toward probation. Said Brown one of several full time workers at the Philadelphia office of the prison visitation and support committee Pusan umbrella organization composed of religious Ami social groups that keeps track of u s political prisoners. Quot in some places like Rochester for example nothing but probation has come Down in Chicago it depends on the judge whether you get probation or three years a Quot of course he added Quot there s Kentucky and Oklahoma and St. Louis where everybody seems to get the since the 1960s, the Federal youth Center in nearby Summit has had its share of convicted draft resisters. As Many As 35 have been jailed there at one time. The five currently at the Center and Stamper just released. Were sentenced to terms ranging from two to six years. Most draft resisters actually spent about 17 months behind bars Earl Day a 20-year-old Veteran of the Federal penal system and administrator of tile youth Center says draft resisters Are generally better educated but More ant establishment than his average inmate Quot they ask me How the hell can you work in a prison a he said. Quot but if you get Down to basics they re More Able to accept me As a human being the Summit five hardly see each other except during monthly visits of the Pys volunteers the prisoners come from different backgrounds there s Bob Sparling 25. A re haired professional musician who once led a hunger strike. Tony Sheehan 22. A bitter disillusioned Young virginian Kuss fur Nap. 23. A recent graduate of Marshall University a Jehovah s witness whose congregation is supporting his wife and baby while he s in prison and a Young Black from Chicago who resists talking with anyone the Jehovah s witness and the Young Black refused to participate in interviews at the prison or to permit publication of their names. Quot it was simply a moral question a Stamper said Dur ing a Bull session in the prison Chapel one afternoon shortly before his release Quot i did t think it was right to be told to go Over there and kill somebody. I resisted being manipulated a Stamper made his derision not to serve in the Days when Muhammed a was in the headlines telling u s selective service officials he had Quot nut Hin against them Cong a Brown says More than 30. To Young men have defied selective service Laws since the Advent of Vietnam Quot there was a he said when draft offences were the third largest category being tried in the Federal courts Brown said that jailed draft resisters Are treated similarly to other prison inmates. Except that those with conscientious objector status usually Quot Are a Little More Active in expressing their unhappiness with prison policy and get shipped around within the system a Good Sparling a thin. Intense Young Man who spends his afternoons playing classical Organ in the Chapel at Summit fits this category. Quot i was shipped Here from the Federal correctional institution at Milan Mich a he said a music major at Oberlin College Sparling spends hts mornings passing out English tests in the prison High school Quot we started a food strike As a pro test Over a Friend s Transfer and i was shipped out that night a Sparling whose father is a food distributor in a Chicago suburb said he never sees other draft prisoners Quot i didst seek conscientious objector status like he said Quot i m not necessarily against All wars. Sparling was arrested at the induction Center in Chicago. The Fri came within the hour he said. And took him to Cook county jail it was the first time he bad been behind bars of the Summit draft prisoners who consented to interviews none except Sheehan had Ever been in jail before Quot i was in overnight once for vagrancy in Mobile i grew up there Quot Sheehan recalled his family later moved to w Winchester a. A clerk Driver at the prison Tony has a six year sentence and a fun Manchu Mustache. He likes the Mustache hates the sentence Quot i never thought i d go to he said Quot i can t understand Why they d want to lock up anybody for following his moral beliefs when i pleaded guilty the judge recommended my release Quot Karnap nodded sympathetically. Quot a six year sentence just demonstrates the ignorance of judges and prosecuting at he said Quot probation in the Federal system is based almost totally on the nature of the crime. Draft evasion is 17 months everyone except Stamper. A work study Driver who spent a Good Deal of time outside the prisons wire Fence. Was dressed in army Issue Quot the Way i see it a said Sheehan hooking his boots on the rung of the Metal folding chair and leaning Back Quot parole comes if you re a Good boy and Don t talk Back a Quot i think the draft counselling i did was the reason i was sent to said Karnap. Newly arrived and still breaking in hts prison clothes Quot i in in admission and orientation now and it 8 like Boot Camp they Check the Hospital Comer on our bunks and run their fingers along the Sill of the windows looking for dust Heck i m supposed to be in Here for refusing to enter the amorim a effective monday july i 1974 we Are changing our name to. In a a travel service inc. 210 n. Main St. High Point n. 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