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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 10, 1972)
friday, march 10, 1972
lincoln. nebraska vol. 95, no. 83
NJi ' -v-
"It's time to ask how we are going to take back the government," Florynce Kennedy said ss
DeDe Ford and Frank Halpine listen.
by H. J. Cummins
A California lawyer, a black feminist lawyer, a
black ex-convict, two Indians and two gay women
agreed Thursday that there is no justice in America.
DeDe Ford, who described himself as an "ex-felon
and ex-dope fiend," said a white man once told him
justice is just what it sounds like "just us" white
folks-no niggers, Mexicans, Chicanos, queers. . ."
A member of the Lincoln Indian Center, Lee Kills
Enemy, said only people with money get "justice."
"Money talks-if you have money you're a person.
I don't want to be a person, I want to be a
god-damned Indian," Kills Enemy said.
California lawyer Vincent Hallinan said "you can't
have justice in the system as it exists now."
He said the latest movement is one to "repress the
lawyers." He has served six months in prison for
contempt of court, he said. And his son, who's a
lawyer, was convicted of "felonious assault" for
interfering with a policeman hitting a
demonstrator-while telling the demonstrator to
Hallinan said he may be elected to a judgeship in
California, in which case, he said, "you're going to see
some of the most astonishing decisions ever to come
out of a court."
He said the first laws he would cripple would be
those against marijuana and homosexuality.
Florynce Kennedy said the clue right now for
oppressed people is to win positions of power for
themselves in government and the courts.
The black feminist lawyer said she doesn't think
"government is too dirty a place for me-in fact it's
cleaner than the streets, and it's air conditioned.
"The people on this panel, excluding myself, are
perfect choices for an alternate slate," she said, and
"it's time to ask how we are going to take back the
Linda Shear, a lesbian activist from Chicago,
said the gay movement is handicapped by a stigma
which other causes don't suffer.
"Homosexuality is seen as a sickness-that it is
catching-or nobody wants to work with gays because
they're afraid others will think they are gay," she
Shear said gay women "have not even reached the
stage of tokenism."
A-go Sheridan, an Indian in Lincoln, said he
couldn't understand the "justrce" in Gordon, Neb.
An Oglala Sioux Indian, Raymond Yellow
Thunder, was found dead there in a panel truck Feb.
Three white men are charged with manslaughter
and a white woman and a white man are charged with
false imprisonment for Yellow Thunder's death.
Indians dispute the offical statement that said
Yellow Thunder was killed by a skull fracture,
charging he was castrated and tortured by the five
white people, who, they say, should face stiffer
Sheridan said, "If all they give me will be false
imprisonment-I'm going to kill a lot of white
Kennedy, noting that she does not advocate
violence to earn reform, said she still wants it clearly
known that she doesn't consider violence "outside
the means necessary to change this system.
"A positive death is better than a meaningless
life," she said. "And it's better to die for a cause than
from lung cancer smoking Ku Klux Klan-grown
A member of the audience who questioned the
separatism advocated by many activists, was told by
Shear that "one of the rights of oppressed minorities,
besides integration, is segregation."
Kills Enemy said, "I don't want to be stuck in a
melting pot and called a white man."
Hallinan repeated a Wednesday night statement
that injustice in the country stems from capitalism,
which leaves the oppressed moneyless, thus
If a capitalist manufacturer had one employe and
paid him $4 a day to build one thing, he'd have to sell
the product for more than $4 to make a profit. So, in
order to make that profit, he'd have to pay the
laborer so little that the laborer will never have a
chance to buy what he makes, Hallinan said.
A five-member panel, including an ex-convict and a prison
warden, found itself in general agreement Thursday on the
direction American penal reform should be taking.
The session was part of this week's World In Revolution
Conference on Justice in America. An estimated 200 people
DeDe Ford, an ex-convict who spent 13 yean in various
California prisons, said he was surprised that other panel
members were so in tune to the inadequacies of the penal
Previously, Oman Municipal Court Judge Elizabeth Pittman
had called for a closer look at probation as an alternative to
"We should carefully consider allowing prisoners the chance
to rehabilitate themselves." she said.
World in Revolution. . . 200 people attend a panel on prison reform.
There's a growing movement to let inmates enjoy easier
access to the judicial system, and more concern for their
constitutional rights, Pittman said.
Pittman made several other suggestions: penitentiary staffs
should include more minority personnel; vocational education
should be expanded; men's institutions should be dose to
women's institutions so more normal social interaction can
take place; married inmates should be allowed to see spouses
for the purpose of having sexual intercourse.
Charles L. Wolfe, Jr., warden of the Nebraska Penal
Complex, said correctional institutions should be geared
toward working the inmate back into the community,
although public opinion sometimes prevents this.
He said prison reform should be stepping in the direction of
work release or educational-release, where inmates are put
back into the community for a job or schooling.
Men coming out of a penitentiary are "walking to the beat
of a different drummer," Wolfe said. "Moving from a totally
structured life-style to one of almost complete freedom takes
At Nebraska, he said, programs are" pointed toward this
"Institutions have warehoused people for hundreds of
years," Wolfe said, "and the only thing they've proved is that
they're excellent warehouses."
The public can unlock solutions to prison reform problems,
State Sen. Roland Luedtke, chairman of the Legislature's
Judiciary Commitee, said the Unicameral has awakened to the
problems in our penal system and is moving to correct them.
A bill instituting a comprehensive study of Nebraska's
needs in this area received 45 affirmative votes Thursday
morning and will be sent to the governor's office.
He cited a successful move by Scottsbluff State Sen. Terry
Carpenter this session to add $200,000 to the state's budget
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