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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Dec. 4, 1998)
Ireland pleads guilty
to Cockson’s death
IRELAND from page 1
But many of the 1,100 residents of
Friend turned out to say goodbye to a
class valedictorian, star athlete and
someone people called a great person.
Gamma Phi sisters loaded two charter
buses for the funeral.
Many of the same faces filled the
small courtroom Thursday as the judge
explained to Ireland the ramifications
of his plea. Friends and family of
Ireland sat near Cockson’s loved ones.
Prosecutors made the agreement
after the Cockson family decided they
did not want a trial.
“A week ago, the family voted
unanimously not to go to trial,” Bob
Cockson said. “We’re glad he pled.”
During the hearing, Ireland
remained composed though his wife
and family started crying as they sat on
the bench behind him.
“He just looked like a scared kid,”
said Jill Hicks, Laura Cockson’s best
friend since high school.
But some of Laura Cockson’s
friends thought he was too unemo
“This brought back a lot of emo
tions,” said junior Gamma Phi member
Melanie Rogge after she finished dry
ing her eyes.
At the Gamma Phi house, Laura
Cockson is remembered fondly and
reminders of her are everywhere for
Sarah, who now lives there.
Sarah Cockson said she used to
visit her sister all the time at the sor
ority house, and now she must face
those memories daily.
“It has been very hard,” Sarah
Cockson said. “I see reminders of her
all die time.”
But the Cockson family does not
“If 20 years in prison would bring
Laura back, I’d be all for it,” Eva
Cockson said. “But it is hard to wish the
worst on him because it won’t bring
Laura’s friends and family just want
to have her back
“If I had to serve 10 years in jail to
get Laura back, I would,” Hicks said.
“But she’s gone.”
Lancaster County District Judge
Karen Flowers ordered a pre-sentence
investigation and set the sentencing
hearing for 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 29.
theme of rights event
By Kim Sweet
Though Human Rights Day strives
to shine light on international human
rights issues, one theme of this year’s
events on Saturday may come closer to
home for some.
Political imprisonment is a topic rel
evant to Nebraska with the imprison
ment of David Rice, who goes by
Mondo We Langa, a prisoner who
resides within the walls of the Nebraska
State Penitentiary, said Mary
Dickinson, organizer of the event
“We always want to take die oppor
tunity to educate people about our polit
ical prisoners,” she said
Rice was imprisoned in 1971 after he
and Ed Pointdexter were accused of con
spiring to kill an Omaha police officer.
The two are said to be victims of the
FBI’s COINTELPRO program, which
tried to stop radical political organiza
tions. Rice and Pointdexter were one
time members of the Black Panthers of
Therefore, political imprisonment
will be the theme of Saturday’s work
shop, keynote speaker and rally.
Other workshop topics include
racism, gay, lesbian and transgendered
rights, international women’s and chil
dren’s rights and human rights educa
The workshops will run from 10:30
a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and again at 2:45
p.m. at the Nebraska East Union.
At 1:30 p.m., Lennox S. Hinds, a
professor of Law and Chairman of the
Administration of Justice program at
Rutgers University in New Brunswick,.
N. J., will give the keynote speech.
Hinds has represented many “polit
ically unpopular” clients, including
Rice, according to promotional materi
als. He also has written and lectured
around the world on the impact of
racism on die criminal justice system, as
well as on other human rights issues.
Matt Johnson, a UNL graduate stu
dent and organizer of the event, said die
workshop presenters and keynote
speakers are some of the most knowl
edgeable experts on human rights.
“The same people attending will be
going to France next week,” he said.
A rally forpolitical prisoners will be
today at 4:30 p.m. at the Nebraska State
Penitentiary to kick off the weekend’s
events, Dickinson said.
The rally will feature Hinds and
other guests. They include Susan Miller,
professor ofNative American History at.
UNL; Bobby Castillo from the Leonard
Peltier Defense Committee; and
30 basic rights
As an effort to recognize every
human being’s need to be guaran
teed fundamental rights, ASUN
passed a resolution Wednesday
night accepting 30 basic, funda
mental human rights.
Andy Schuerman, ASUN
Human Rights Committee chair
man, said the resolution allows the
Association of Students of the
University of Nebraska to show
support for the United Nations’
Universal Declaration of Human
“It is important that we recog
nize the significance of the U.N.
passing this document,”
Schuerman said. “We are bringing
awareness to students on campus.”
On Dec. 10, 1948, the United
Nations passed the declaration
guaranteeing human rights across
This year marks the 50th
anniversary of the document,
which has served as a cornerstone
in humanity’s struggle to recog
nize, promote and protect human
rights and fundamental freedoms.
Some human rights the decla
ration protects include atrocities
such as genocide, mercenaries,
war and humanity crimes.
Schuerman said he hopes UNL
will recognize the importance of
the 30 fundamental human rights
presented in the document and
advocate them appropriately.
Herman Ferguson from Jericho
Network for Political Prisoners and
New African Liberation Front.
Students can meet at Newman
Methodist Church on 23rd and R streets
at 4 p.m. to get a ride.
The conference, which begins at 9
a.m. Saturday at the Nebraska East
Union, is important for everyone,
“I hope the students of UNL, resi
dents of Lincoln and citizens of
Nebraska will take the opportunity to
spread their horizons and enlighten
themselves on the issues that have glob
al consequences,” he said.
Nebraskans send Gov. Nelson out in style
By Todd Anderson
Senior staff writer
Friends and fans of Gov. Ben
Nelson want to make sure he leaves
office with a party akin to his eight
years of leadership.
Nebraskans across the state are
invited to join in celebrating Nelson’s
administration Sunday at 6 p.m. in
Agriculture Hall at the State Fair Park.
Director of Administrative
Services Karen Kilgarin, one of the
party’s organizers, said more than 400
people already have paid for the $25
meal and show.
“The state’s had a good eight
years,” she said. “We just thought we
ought to send (Nelson) out in style.”
Beginning at 6 p.m., a banquet din
ner will be served, followed by presen
tations from several Nebraska person
alities and entertainers.
U.S. Sen. Bob Kerrey and former
NU Football Coach Tom Osborne will
speak to the crowd.
Gail Yanney, a Nebraska artist;
Duane Acklie, a member of the state
Highway Commission; and nationally
recognized comedian Pat Hazel will
also entertain the crowd.
Kilgarin said organizers of the trib
ute wanted to thank Nelson for his ser
vice to the state.
“We just want a chance to salute the
governor and what he’s done for
Nebraska,” Kilgarin said.
The evening will be light-hearted
and fun, she said.
While there will be tickets avail
able at the door, Kilgarin said those
interested should reserve places.
Ticket sales will cover the event’s
cost Extra proceeds will be donated to
the Nelson Institute, the governor’s
newly formed charity organization for
education and economic development
For more information, or to reserve
tickets, contact Nebraskans Salute
Nelson at (402) 423-2396.
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