New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 12, 1982, New Braunfels, Texas
New Braunfels Herald Zeitung Sunday, September 12, 1982 3AReagan proposes change in insanity plea
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Reagan said Saturday he will send a new anti-crime bill to Congress on Monday proposing “common sense revisions of the insanity defense.’’
National attention was focused on the issue after John W. Hinckley Jr., who shot and wounded Reagan and three other men on March 30,1981, used the insanity plea and was acquitted in federal court here in June. The federal jury found Hinckley had no criminal responsibility for the shooting.
The president did not spell out exactly how he would rewrite the federal law dealing with insanity cases. But he has indicated in the past the administration was considering doing away with the insanity plea as a defense.
“We will press for common sense revisions of the insanity defense, a defense that has been much misinterpreted and abused,” Reagan said.
The president raised the issue during his weekly radio address, delivered from Camp David, the mountaintop retreat in Maryland.
In an interview last July in St. Louis, Reagan disclosed that the Justice Department was studying a proposal to eliminate insanity as a defense but permit evidence of a defendant’s mental state to be “introduced at the time of sentencing as a mitigating factor.”
The president has repeatedly refused to comment on the Hinckley verdict and did not mention his assailant in his radio talk Saturday. But when asked in an interview a month after the trial about the effect of the verdict, he replied, “justice is not done under
the present system.”
Reagan also said his new anti-crime bill would include revision of the so-called exclusionary rule. He described that rule as one “that can force a judge to throw out of court on the basis of a small technicality an entire case. no matter how guilty the defendant or how heinous the crime.”
“Our bill would stop this grievous miscarriage of justice by allowing evidence to be introduced where the police officer was acting in good faith,” Reagan said.
The president urged Congress to act “promptly and favorably" on the omnibus crime bill he proposed last year calling for stiffer federal sentences for drug traffickers, denial of bail to habitual offenders and more certain jail sentences with fewer opportunities for parole.
The president said he was addressing the subject of crime in society because it was “a subject that has been very much on my mind, even as we have been very busy with budgets, interest rates and legislation.”
Lebanon still a powdering while foreign armies remain
An AP News Analysis By LARRY THORSON Associated Press Writer
TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — After ousting the main Palestinian guerrilla force from Beirut, Israeli troops in eastern Lebanon still face the Syrian army across a battlefield prone to ceasefire breaches.
But some senior Israeli officials say they don’t think the Syrians are capable of a major military action in Lebanon, and they expect their old enemy to withdraw from the country without a fight.
During the past week, Israeli warplanes twice attacked Syrian anti-aicraft missiles in eastern Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley and destroyed five batteries by Israeli count.
Israel also is warning it is watching the Syrians closely and will blame them for any attacks by Palestine Liberation Organization guerrillas in
However, the Israelis also have said repeatedly that they do not want any new battles with the Syrians.
“Personally, I don’t think a conflagration is likely, but it is certainly a nervous situation,” said Chaim Herzog, a former head of military intelligence and one of Israel’s most respected military commentators.
Israel radio, quoting Defense Minister Ariel Sharon at a closed-door meeting of Parliament’s foreign affairs and security committee, said Israel does not think it will have to use the “military option” to get the Syrians out of lebanon.
The military chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Raphael Eytan, said on Armed Forces Radio last Friday that Syrian troops were well entrenched in eastern Lebanon. But he said Syria had not made any buildups lately and he did not think it could make an offensive against Israel.
Herzog said he believed the Damascus government feared an Israeli attack in eastern lebanon, and its batteries of heat-seeking SAM-9 missiles were deployed as a defensive measure.
But that doesn’t make them any more acceptable to Israel, and along with its demands that “the PLO must go” and “Lebanon should sign a peace treaty with Israel,” the Israelis are saying there must be no Syrian missiles in eastern Lebanon.
After the two air raids, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin declared:
“I hope this warning will be heard in Damascus. We want no fighting with the Syrian army.”
The attacks brought a worried reaction from the White House, where spokesman I,arry Speakes said ‘ provocation on both sides should be halted” and added that “there is always the potential of escalation between the Israelis and the Syrians."
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'Doonesbury' targets sad
on nuclear freeze vote
WASHINGTON (AP) — After a lengthy internal debate, the Reagan administration is refusing to take a stand on a controversial nuclear freeze referendum facing Wisconsin voters Tuesday, on the ground that its wording is ambiguous.
A revised State Department position, set forth late last week, said the question on the Wisconsin ballot alludes to the desirability of both a “nuclear weapons moratorium and reduction” — without specifying which should come first.
The statement said the United States could agree to a nuclear weapons freeze but only after negotiations with the Soviet Union produce a “substantial reduction to equal and verifiable levels."
The administration’s refusal to take a stand on the Wisconsin referendum would seem to leave in doubt the significance of Tuesday’s vote, regardless of the outcome.
Moreover, by declining to oppose the resolution, the administration would spare itself political embarrassment if Wisconsin voters, as expected, endorse a nuclear freeze.
Equal employment commission
loses discrimination lawsuit
DALLAS (AP) — An attorney for the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission says he is pleased that a federal judge agreed with his contentions that the agency, charged with enforcing anti-discrimination laws, discriminated against white men by favoring women and minorities in its staff promotions.
The class-aetion lawsuit was filed in 1976 by Dale II. Jurgens, a senior trial attorney for the EEOC in Dallas. He claimed the commission unlawfully favored women and minorities while deciding promotions.
Judge Patrick Higginbotham, who heard the case as a federal district judge, but has since been named to the U.S. lith Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, agreed with Jurgens Friday.
“The EEOC’s attempt to create a model of EEO excellence for other employers, federal, state, local and private’ ... unnecessarily trammeled the interests of plaintiffs and violates Title VII” of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Higginbotham said. Title VII prohibits employers from using race, sex, or national origin as a basis for personnel decisions.
NEW YORK (AP) — A woman approaches an office desk, pad in hand. “Mr. Secretary?” she says. “Sir, you’ve been getting calls all morning from an irate bird watcher. He’s upset about the proposed transfer of the Matagorda refuge."
“What for?” a voice says.
“He claims it could lead to the extinction of four different species of North American birds,” the woman says.
“So what? We’ll still have millions of pigeons. I run over ’em in the parking lot all the time,” the unseen cabinet member says.
“Birds are birds, Miss Dempsey. This is what I mean by extremism.”
Interior Secretary James G. Watt probably has never run over the squat feathery creatures in his Washington parking lot. But his cartoon self once did in the amusing and often irreverent panels of Doonesbury.
But for the next 20 months or so, the controversial and outspoken cabinet member will have a reprieve from the comic abuse of cartoonist Garry Trudeau, who has announced that he will stop drawing the Pulitzer Prize-winning strip next January so that he can give himself a “breather.”
The annoueement stunned some of the more celebrated subjects Trudeau lias parodied in the past 12 years.
“I’m heartbroken,” former President Jimmy Carter said in a telephone interview from Plains, Ga. “Garry Trudeau is going to leave us destitute.
“I’ve always admired him and saw him as
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Chris moves ashore; little damage reported
someone who could give a very incisive analysis of world events," he said. “Even when it hurt to be criticized on occasion, I listened to him.
“He parodied some of my cherished techniques in responding to abusive news reporters’ questions. I thought I was getting away with it because the Washington press corps didn’t pick up on it. But Garry did.”
Rep. Millicent Fenwick, R-N.J., has been immortalized by the 34-year-old cartoonist in the pen and ink persona of I^icey Davenport, the intrepid and unassuming congresswoman whose nose is turned up in permanent noblesse oblige.
“Oh, isn’t it sad,” the feisty Mrs. Fenwick said. “I’m so sorry to lose I.acey. She’s such a nice woman
so unimpressed with herself."
Mrs. Fenwick has never met Trudeau and didn’t know beforehand that she was to be a subject of a cartoon strip.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever find out why he chose me," she said. “But the strip apparently drives my opponents crazy. I don’t think anybody’s going to vote for me because of I,acey Davenport."
In current Doonesbury panels, I.acey Davenport has decided to talk to the homosexual community in her constituency. She tells two men at a reception that her husband’s uncle Orville, a federal judge in Chicago, has just “come out of the closet.”
“That’s great! What made him do it?" one man says.
“High interest rates,” Lacey says without missing a beat. “His butler tried to blackmail him, and he couldn’t afford it.”
BEAUMONT (AP) Tropical Storm Chris, which had residents of far Southeast Texas on guard for over 12 hours following warnings of heavy rains and howling winds, passed across the Beaumont-Port Arthur area Saturday with no serious damage, authorities said.
By early afternoon, the storm’s center had moved into southwest Louisiana, where residents were cautioned to be on guard against downpours and strong winds.
Officials had begun emergency preparations along the southeast Texas coast and in Louisiana as Chris moved closer to shore, whipping up high tides with its 50 mph winds.
But a hurricane watch posted Friday afternoon along the upper Texas coast was canceled early Saturday, and three hours later, gale warnings were dropped for areas west of Port Arthur to Freeport.
The heaviest storm activity to hit Texas was
reported at Sabine Pass, located near the coast at the state’s far southeast tip. Texas 87 was closed due to flooding in lowlying areas and electricity was knocked out, police said.
Three people aboard a leaky crew boat were rescued shortly before 9 a.m. Saturday and radioing they were in danger of sinking, the Coast Guard said.
The 85-foot Trinity-Shoal reported it was taking on water and sinking about five miles east of Sabine Pass at 4 a.m., according to Petty Officer Gary Starks.
A vessel was sent out to rescue the men, but had to return because of bad weather. The men were later rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter out of Houston, Starks said.
The storm was expected to move towards the north at IO mph today and gradually weaken, forecasters said.
Authorities in Beaumont, Port Arthur and Orange said there
were no reports of serious damage following moderate rains and gusty winds.
Galveston also reported early morning rains, but no damage.
About 6,500 residents of southern Cameron Parish in Louisiana were ordered evacated Friday as the advancing storm, the third named tropical low-pressure system of the season in the Atlantic, drove high tides along the Gulf of Mexico coast.
But the residents began returning home Saturday as the storm weakened during its move across southwestern Louisiana.
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