The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 20, 1975, Image 1
doilu monday, October 20, 1975 volume 99 number 32 lincoln, nebraska S peake rs jab Lewis inquiry State Sen. Ernest Chambers urged students to sign petitions calling for a grand jury investi gation of Sherdell Lewis's death at Friday's open meeting. 'By Liz Crumley and George Miller About 500 persons heard seven speakers Friday attack the investigation of the Sept. 24 shooting death of Arvid Sherdell Lewis. The meeting, sponsored by the ASUN Senate, was called to "discuss in an orderly fashion" Lewis's shooting, according to Sen. Tony Williams. Speakers included Omaha State Sen. Ernest Chambers, Lincoln City Councilman John Robinson, Lancaster County Commissioner Bruce Hamilton and Jimmi Smith, Charles Rogers, Roger Elliott and Ronald Massie of the Justice for Lewis Committee. County Sheriff Merle Karnopp, City Councilman Robert Sikyta and a Lincoln Police Dept. representative had said they would address the crowd, but failed to appear. Boosalis left Lincoln Mayor Helen Boosalis said she would attend to answer questions .but left before the question-and-answer period began. County Atty. Ron Lahners refused to attend, saying it "wasnot in the best interests of his office to come." Also attending the meeting was Barbara Kelly, Lewis's mother, who said she was "deeply touched" by the turnout. "If the death of my son is what it's taken to. bring you all together, then this is a great day," she said. . Hamilton said, "if we are watchful, if we show concern, if we are responsible and continue to demand truth, the truth will emerge." Chambers said Lahners's investigation of the Lewis shooting showed "disorganiza tion, lack of competency and a total dis regard of constitutional principles" by law enforcement officers. "The police are creating an environment where anything a person in uniform does is acceptable," he said. Chambers said the police "went aftei Lewis because he was black, because he drove a black Cadillac with a white top and diamond window in the rear and because he had a white girl friend." Hamilton said information Lahners released raised more questions than it answered. Grand jury alternative "A grand jury remains our only responsible alternative to Lahners's investi gation," he said. All seven speakers stressed student involvement in a petition drive calling for a grand jury investigation. To force the calling of tne grand jury by petition, 4,828 signatures are required from registered Lancaster County voters. The number represents 10 per cent of the county residents who voted in the last gubernatorial election." Hamilton predicted that a grand jury would be calkd, "hopefully with a special prosecutor who will present all the facts to the grand jury." Robinson advocated, a review of the recruitment, training and enforcement policies and procedures of Lincoln and Lancaster County law enforcement agencies. Elliott read a letter from the Justice for Lewis Committee in response to what Elliott said was a request by Lahners for committee cooperation in arresting black citizens in Lancaster County. The letter, addressed to Lahners, accus ed police officers of "intimidation, harrass ments and coercion" and refused coopera tion. It requested Lahners's assistance in "removing all programs advocating 'police as a friend,' especially where black children are involved" in the Lincoln Public Schools. Low-psych conference : commitmen f lows abused By Theresa Foreman ana Dick Hovorka The so-called vagueness and abuse of civil commitment laws and the methods used tq release-inmates .from prison .head-. lined discussions during the concluding session of the Law-Psychology Research Conference at UNL's Law College. Too many .persons are committed to mental hospitals on the presumption that they may be dangerous, said Saleem Shah, who directs the Center for Studies of Crime and Deliquency for the National Institute of Mental Health in Washington D.C. He said he does not know why this reason for mrnitting persons has 'not been challenged. Judges commit persons because they are presumed dangerous, but many state laws don't include a definition of dangerousness or mental disorder, Shah said. . Any definition "This makes dangerousness a many 3?lendored thing," he said. "You can efine it any way you want to. "In Nebraska, a person could be com mitted for biting his fingernails," Shah said. In the judge's mind, a dangerous act if ibiuu mm Mexican Festival Starts: Profile of pianist Viviano Valdez. ...... p.3 Also Find: Editorial . '. p.4 Arts and Entertainment p.6 Sports p.7 Crossword ................ p.S Short Stuff p.5 Momlay: Mostly sunny &ni mild. High! in the low 70s. Monday nhjit. Temperatures ranging from 40 to 45. - Tuesday: Clear to psitly cloudy. High temperatures in the m;j-60s. becomes a dangerous trait which becomes a dangerous individual, he said. The act which started the whole irrational line of . thinking is often nothing more than most of us do every day, he said. Shah said dangerousness in one situation is not necessarily permanent dangerousness. If one of the factors which make a person act dangerously is taken away, it is possible he no longer will be a threat and commit ment will be unnecessary. R. Kir kl and Schwitzgebel, of California Lutheran College, said commitment is the easy way to deal with mental disorders because mental institutions have a low improvement rate. Schwitzgebel said many psychiatric in stitutions are unreliably rated because most are judged by the money they spend, not on quality. Institutions should be judged on the type, amount and effectiveness of treatment, he said. , Schwitzgebel has conducted a study of Douglas1 rules vet school WW I I M IWUi By Tcrri Willaon Nebraska Atty. Gen. Paul Douglas ruled last week that NU's reciprocal agreement with regional and nearby veterinary schools does not violate Nebraska's constitution. NU'i Department of Veterinary Science offers two years of pre-vcteiinarian study and conducts research, teaching and educa tional extension programs. But students must teke four years of doctorate work at another university. , ' ' v The contractual program by which NU fcefps veterinary science students pay their way to veterinary schools in other states was examined last month by the Legisla ture's board to see if it agreed with Article 7, Section 11 of the Nebraska constitution. 'It stales tfsat.iso state or local money can be $gcfd on any project not under the control of Nebraska or any of the state's locsl political subdMslons. , According to' Marvin Twiehaus, eha? tnsn of NU's Veterinary Science Dept., the Baiversity now supports 67 veterinary student fit Old&horna, Colorado, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Minnesota. , Dokss ruling, released ' Oct. 10, Hates that the Legislature has provided that the NU Board of Regents may enter bto ayrctn.cnts with schools o coHegss of several psychiatric institutions for his book, , Street Comer Research. He cited a hospital in Missouri which gives mental patients .; about 20 . minutes of .therapy per week. This helps prove that persons are being held for preventive detention under the guise of treatment, he said. He said maltreatment in mental hos pitals is difficult to sue against "because everyone knows the plaintiff is crazy. 'The time is long past due for the mental health profession to render account ability" Schwitzgebel said. David B. Wexler, a law professor from Arizona University said few defendants plead insanity because if they are found insane, they will be sent to a psychiatric hospital for an indefinite time. The hospital and court should work to gether to decide if a patient should be re leased from a hospital once he is commit ted, Wexler said. The institution should, judge whether the patient is ready to be released; the court should make the final decision, he said., The hospital then would not have to consider moral aspects of the crime, he said. ;. Wexler said a prisoner should be allowed to voluntarily transfer to a hospital for psychological treatment. He said most prisoners now can transfer only "involuntarily " Wexler also advocated an "objective method" of releasing a person from prison, in which a prisoner would work toward a predetermined goal during his sentence, such as attaining a high' school diploma, he said. The method contrasts with three others used to release prisoners, which include a straight time sentence: a "subjective ruling" (the prison determines if the inmate has "developed socially constructive ideas), and a sentence in which the prisoner is not told how he can be released, Wexler said. Attorney Genera! Pais! Douglas fhim by T4 Kb& veterinary medians md surgery 'in other states. If NU's Veterinary Science Dcpt; makes contracts with schools owned or exclusive ly controlled by oilier states or political subdivisions of other states, the contracts are 'not in violation of the stats consti tution. " Nebraska Sen. Frank Lewis f Belkvue, chairman of the Unicameral's Education Committee, said, hat month Douglas would have go choice ether than to rule the program illegal. Thursday tie said lie' was "surprised to hear the attorney general's opinion, although he said he had not read ityet. Meanwhile, the search for a Eve-state regional veterinary school site continues. The Old West Regional Commission decid ed in September, according to Twkhaus, that there is definite need for such a school Jn one of the five midwestern states of Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Colorado.