The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 10, 1984, Image 1

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    Wednesday, October 10, 1G84
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University of Nebraska-Lincoln
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to dtesMt In elecMe chair.
By Judi Nygrcn
Net rtiiin Senior Editor
John J. Joubert, with head bent and
eyes cast downward, sat silent as the pre
siding district judge sentenced the con
fessed chfld-killer to the electric chair
Tuesday in Papiilion.
More than 100 observers, ranging from
sleeping babies to a woman who smo
thered her sobs in a handkerchief, re
mained completely still as Judge Ronald
Reagan read the sentence. The observers
had lined up outside the courtoom at
8:30 a.m., one hour before the sentencing
began.
, Reagan, after consulting with two panel
judges District Judges Robert Finn and
Theodore Carlson sentenced Joubert
to die for the murders of Danny Joe Ebe
rle, 13, and Christopher Walden, 12. In
making their decision, the judges consi
dered testimony given in a June hearing
and September's three-day hearing, Jou
bert's guilty pleas and a letter from the
defendant's mother. This evidence was
weighed against the Nebraska Supreme
Court's guidelines for determining a life,
sentence in prison or death.
Alter examining the evidence and
guidelines, the judges concluded that
Joubert, a 21 -year-old radar technician
in the U.S. Air Force, knew murder was
wrong, but nonetheless chose to carry
out his plans plans, psychiatrists said,.,
he had worked out in his "superior" mind
since the age of 6. The judges said evi
dence proved both Eberle and Walden
gave Joubert opportunites to turn back.
Joubert considered these offers, they said,
but after thinking about the consequen
ces, chose to kill the boys.
According to testimony, Eberle pleaded
for freedom after Joubert had forced the
paperboy to strip down to his underwear
and inflicted the first stab wound. At that
point on Sept. 18, 1983, Eberle told Jou
bert he would not turn Joubert in if the
man would take him to the hospital. Jou
bert said he did not believe the boy.
Walden, who was kidnapped while walk
ing to school on Dec. 2, 1983, began crying
as he lay on the car's floorboard. Joubert
testified that he thought about releasing
the boy, but decided he would get caught.
Both boys bled to death as a result of
multiple stab wounds. Pathologists who
conducted the autopsies said the boys
lived for a few minutes after the stab
bings, making the deaths cruel and pain
ful. Although psychiatrists said Jou
bert was not insane, the judges said
anyone who could kill two boys in this
"manner "must, of necessity, have some
mental or emotional disturbance."They con
cluded though, that Joubert's men
tal illness did not cause the defen
dant to lose control of his actions.
Considering Joubert is sane, has con
trol over his actions and knows right'
from wrong, the judges said the death
penalty is not "excessive or dispropor
tionate to the penalty imposed in similar
cases."
Under Nebraska law, cases involving
the death penalty automatically go before
the state Supreme Court for review.
Joubert's lawyer, James Miller, said the
Supreme Court may overturn the deci
sion, "but we're, not. joptimistic. "While.
Joubert is prepared for a fight, Miller
said, the defendant was not surprised by
Tuesday's sentence. '
Although the observers left silently,
some expressed support of the decision.
Among these supporters was Gene And
erson a salesman who has attended all
of Joubert's hearings. Anderson said he
expected a death sentence.
"Life in prison is almost too good for
him," he said. "But that doesn't mean he'll
actually die."
Vol. 84 No. 34
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,
Mark DavliDally Ncbraskan
John Joubert
SBiir u
runken drivers
By Brad Kuhn
Daily Nebraskan Senior Reporter .
Editor's note: This is the third
article in a four-part series exa
mining various issues on alcoh
olism and its effects on students.
This series is in conjunction
with National Collegi ate Aware
ness Week, through Friday.
Picture a university student, as
he staggers out of a local bar and
pours himself behind the wheel
of his trusty, rusty 1974 Montego.
As he careens home straddling
the center line on Ninth Street, a
police officer pulls him over to
chat.
. Following a brief conversation,
the officer asks the student to do
a few tricks. First he has the stu
dent stand on one leg. No prob
lem. Then he asks him to walk a
straight line, turn and come back.
Not even a checked step. Then he
asks him to stare at a pencil.
A pencil? Sounds easy, but ac-
Alcohol
Awareness
Week
cording to the U.S. Department of
Transportation, of the three tests,
the pencil is most accurate, boas
ting 77 percent accuracy, com
pared to 68 percent for the walk
and turn, and 85 percent for the
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Lea Anne ZtcsKUsuy Naorasan
one-leg stand.
Here's how it works. .When a
person looks out of the extreme
corner of the eye, the eye begins
to jerk. When a person has had
too much to drink, however, the
jerking called "gaze nystagmus"
sets in much sooner.
The method tested by the D.O.T.
last year in Virginia, Maryland
and North Carolina, is now used
in Nebraska. Los Angeles police,
pioneers in this new method, have
used it successfully for almost
five years.
The Nebraska Office of High
way Safety said these eye games
are partly responsible for this
year's decrease in the number of
alcohol-related fatalities.
This year in Nebraska only 39
alcohol-related fatal crashes were
reported as of July 31, down 30
percent from 48 during the same
period last year. Fred Zwonechek,
a spokesman for the Nebraska
OHS, credits the decrease to bet
ter enforcement of drunken driv
ing laws and a trend toward "smar
ter drinkers."
"People these days are thinking
more about how they're going to
get from one place to another
when they go out to drink. People
are finally beginning to do some
thing to stop drunken driving."
The evidence backs Zwonechek.
Take for example Lincoln's new
est night spot, The Luc!y Lady. A
sign, prominently posted, offers a
ride home for anyone too drunk
to drive, but sober enough to
read.
Last year, P.O. Pears began its
Tm driving" club in which a button
wearing member is entitled to
free soda pop, with the condition
that they abstain from the alco
hol and drive their drinldng bud
dies home at the end of the eve
ning. It's been an uphill battle. Al
though Americans have long given
lip service to the idea that it's bad
to drive drunk, it was not until
Candy Lightner, founder of Mothers
Against Drunk Driving, and oth
ers like her began expressing anger
about tragedy and needless kil
ling that anyone began to do any
thing about it.
In Nebraska, it took two major
tragedies to get the ball rolling. In
1981, a UNL student, leaving a
fraternity party in Sprague, drove
his car through a crowd of friends,
killing two of them. In Omaha, a
van full of Creighton University
students crossed a median and
hit another car head-on. In both
accidents, the drivers had been
drinking. It hit close to home with
students as well as parents.
Since then, alcohol-related fatal
crashes have plummeted 61 per
cent and the trend, Zwonechek
said, is toward even lower death
counts.
'The trend is toward responsi
ble drinking," Zwonechek said.
"Maybe the attitude change is
permanent I certainly hope so."
rivers tace fines, j a
DWI Laws
First olfense:
Seven days in jail and $200
fine (may be suspended in favor
of probation) minimum 60
days license suspension.
Second offense:
SO days in jail and $500 fine
(may be suspended after 48
hours in jail in favor of proba
tion) minimum six months
license suspension.
Third sud any subsequent
offense:
Three to six months in jail
and $500 fine (may be sus
pended after seven days in jail
in favor of probation) life
time license revocation (or one
year suspension for persons
placed on probation).
Driving with a suspended or
revoked license is a felony, punish
ible with a maximum of five
years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
Under probation, a person
may be required to attend at
their expense, an alcoholism
treatment program. This can
cost more than $3,000.
Anyone refusing to submit
to a chemical test faces a one
year drivers license suspension.
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