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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 19, 1984)
Thursday, January 19, 1834
7 I I O r1
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The residents of Sarpy County are tired of run
After a fall straight from a Hitchcock movie, Sarpy
County residents are pinning their hopes for calmer
lives on the possibility that John Joubert really did
Mil Daniel Eberle and Christopher Walden.
The events of the case are well-known. Eberle, a
13-year-old Bellevue -resident, was last seen alive
Sept. 18. Walden, a 12-year-old from Papillion, was
reported missing Dec. 2. Each was found a few days
after his disappearance, dead of multiple stab
Throughout the fall, the sheer wickedness of the
crimes, coupled with the inability of a ICO plus
member investigation team to find even one suspect
in either of the two cases, produced a profound
change in the communities involved. As Paul Easier, '
superintendent of the Papillion-La Vista school dis
trict told the Lincoln Journal Jan. 12, "It's caused a
great deal of apprehension. Older people cant even
talk to youth anymore. We have put such a scare in
the children I don't know if they'll ever get over it." A
reward fund, to be given to the person whose lead
resulted in the arrest and conviction of the killer of
the two boys, grew to $55,600.
Law enforcement officials got their break last
week. A report from a preschool said that a man had
brandished a knife at a teacher. Joubert was picked
up Jan. 1 1 in connection with the preschool inci
dent, and later charged with the murders of Eberle
The investigators. and the general public have
understandably drawn a huge, collective sigh of
relief that a susoect has at least been charged with
the murders. With that sense of relief, however,
comes the great danger that Joubert will be con
victed not because a court of law weighs the evi
dence presented to it and finds him guilty, but that
he will instead be convicted simply as a result of our
sheer need to convict somebody of these crimes. In
our minds and hearts, if not in our public state
ments, we run the risk of convicting Joubert before
he ever gets to trial
The trial of Joubert stands to be one of the most
closely-watched news events in the state. Sarpy
County Public Defender James Miller has rightfully
filed a notion on behalf of Joubert to prevent inves
tigators from giving "purported evidence" to repor
ters before the hearing. However, the stories and
rumors that already have circulated about the case
Joubert's "loner" image, or the stories of FBI
agents hypnotizing witnesses to develop descrip
tions of suspects, for example make the whole
affair once again seem like a movie.
The real test of the investigative team, our legal
system and cur collective desire for true justice is
just beginning with Joubert's preliminary hearing,
which m scheduled for 1:30 p.m. today. Our test will
be to remember that this b not a movie, that Joubert
is a flesh-and-blood human who is, according to our
most fundamental legal tradition, innocent until
.... --n.r , i. ii - N N ! -n- - - ' "
f vxx ... Letters
Age won yt stop buyers
In response to your editorial on the drinking age
(Daily Nebraskan, Jan. 16), I must question the rea
soning that another year gap between teens and the
drinking age will decrease the number of buyers. It is
currently illegal for teens to drink, so the number of
lives to be saved is merely speculation. If even one
life saved makes it worth it, why not reinstate prohi
bition and save more lives?
Our problem is not the age, but society's adjust
ment to the use of this legal drug. We need to
increase awareness of the responsibility that needs
to go with being able to drink. Even if you don't value
your own life, don't jeopardize the safety of others by
driving under the influence. If you go out drinking,
realize intoxication is a possible and likely outcome
and plan ahead to get a ride or to walk home. Don't
just try to make it home without getting caught. Be
considerate enough not to ruin someone else's right
to live or to drink.
If at 18 Americans can vote and be drafted to go to
war, they ought to be able to drink. After all, alcohol
is our legal intoxicant of choice.
Thanks for not drinking and driving.
- . - 1 . David Splichal
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Awareness of death necessary
AUm lartcsiMMwr for lis to fully , appreciate
I read Bill Allen's editorial column (Daily Nebras
kan, Jan. 16) and I can say it was one of the most
immature columns I have read for a long time.
J assume that the Daily Nebraskan is a proving
ground for up and coming journalists. But Allen, by
his attitudes toward fraternities, sororities and off
campus students, has proven the fact that he has no
humor and little, if any, intelligence. I recommend
Allen resign his position or allow a less narrow
minded person to write numerous guest articles.
. ,r junior
Why do we college students in our teens and
twenties need to think about death? It intrudes
only slightly in our age-segregated lives as when, for
example, a college professor commits suicide. Oth
erwise, it is a remote, abstract concept that is almost
unreal. The work of the right-wing death squads in
El Salvador, for example, is little more than a news
item for us..
(1 ' Krishna
The Daily Nebraskan welcomes brief letters to the
editor from all readers and interested others.
Letters will be selected for publication on the
basis of clarity, originality, timeliness and space
available. The Daily Nebraskan retains the right to
edit all material submitted. .
: Anonymous submissions will not be considered
for publication. Letters should include the author's
name, year in school, major and group affiliation, if
any. Requests to withhold names from publication
Submit material to the Daily Nebraskan, 34 Nebra
ska Union, 1400 R St., Lincoln, Neb. eS5S2-0i-18.
Yet, we experience death and its companion,
birth, every day of our lives in our dealings with
ourselves and with others. As we discover things
that enrich our lives, we are continually being born
anew. In order to do this, a part of us our old
attitudes and prejudices ' must die.
In our dealings with people, some friendships are
born while others die in a process that goes on
continually. Our actions determine whether we
develop new friendships and give a new life to old
ones or whether we kill off existing friendships
either by letting them wither or by inconsiderate
Death pervades our lives much more literally
when it comes to physical things. The food we eat
either hastens or postpones our death. So do exer
cise, deep, ar.d stress. . ' .
Yet, how are we to be continuously aware of the
presence of death in our lives without being sombre, :
morose individuals? The answer, as usual, lies in
resolving those opposites that philosophers thrive
on; in this case, the opposites of sadness and joy.
Conventional wisdom declares that to be happy
we should forget our troubles and those of others.
This type of happiness is but a thin-skinned bubble
which is easily burst and consequently, can produce
its opposite: unconsolable depression.
In contrast, an awareness of death produces a
quiet but more secure joy that is based on the
knowledge that, through our actions, we do have
some measure of control over death. Moreover, our
actions can similarly enable us to experience the joy
of birth, both within ourselves and in our relation
ships to others.
Even though our final, physical, personal death is
unavoidable, this certainty need not be a cause for
despair. Research has shown that those who reflect
on their lives with the most contentment while on
their deathbeds are those who feel that they have
done what they know is right both in their relation
ships to other individuals and to the world at large.
The latter needs emphasizing. Even though right
wing and government-sponsored terrorism in U.S.
backed El Salvador may not disturb us enough to
prompt any action on our part, the accumulated
deaths of the people there may weigh heavily on us
40 years from now. Our inaction is bound to pro
duce a vague perhaps unconscious uneasiness
about the way we have lived our lives.
Ia order to better prepare for our final deaths,
therefore, we have to be more aware of the literal,
aru figurative deaths taking place all around us
wMe giving birth to new idsss, attitudes, relation
ships and ultimately to a new society.
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