The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, January 14, 1999, Page 4, Image 4

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Erin Gibson
Cliff Hicks
Nancy Christensen
Brad Davis
Sam McKewon
Jeff Randall
Bret Schulte
Use King day
to fight injustice
During his short lifetime, Martin
Luther King Jr. spent countless hours
writing, marching or otherwise working
to make the world a better place.
If you’re a student at the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln, you have Monday off.
What are your plans?
Martin Luther King Jr. was a prolific
speaker and a brave activist who became
the most significant participant in the
black civil rights movement and, sadly, a
martyr to the cause.
We at the Daily Nebraskan think his
birthday should be honored for all of
these reasons.
1 However, we think the holiday should
extend beyond one man’s life.
In recent years, Martin Luther King
Jr. has been criticized for being less than
perfect. However, it is important to
remember that one person does not a
movement make, nor can any one person
completely represent a movement.
King s faults still pale in comparison
to his accomplishments.
And these accomplishments deserve
recognition. At the same time, Martin
Luther King Jr. Day should represent
much more than that.
The day should not only commemo
rate the victories that have been won, but
should also be a reminder of how far we
have to go.
It should be seen as a day to honor all
people who have struggled to obtain civil
rights and to examine why some people
and some people’s movements are still
being ignored.
Racism, sexism and homophobia are
alive and well, though they may be much
more covert than they were in King’s
time. Their impact is still strong.
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, these
problems should be discussed. The day
should be a tribute to the strength of
members of minority groups, a day when
they can take pride in their identities.
Others need to honor these struggles
and examine the privileges they receive,
whether they have asked for them or not,
for being white or male or heterosexual.
It should be a day when people realize
that everyone is implicated in a society
where there is oppression and challenge
their beliefs.
Not everyone has to make the same
kind of commitment King made to fight
ing injustice.
But we are all responsible for our
actions, and not commemorating Martin
Luther King Jr. Day is a conscious deci
sion and a passive commitment to contin
uing oppression.
We can sleep in or we can wake up.
Editorial Pallor
Unsigned editorials are the opinions of
the Spring 1999 Daily Nebraskan. They
do not necessarily reflect the views of the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, its
employees, its student body or the
University of Nebraska Board of Regents.
A column is solely the opinion of its author.
The Boatd of Regents selves as pubfisher
of the Daily Nebraskan; policy is set by
the Daily Nebraskan Editorial Board. The
UNL Publications Board, established by
the regents, supervises the production
of the paper. According to policy set by
the regents, responsibly for the editorial
content of the newspaper lies solely in
the hands of its student employees.
Latter Policy
The Daily Nebraskan welcomes brief
letters to the editor and guest columns,
but does not guarantee their publication.
The Daily Nebraskan retains the right to
edit or reject any material submitted.
Submitted material becomes property of
the Daily Nebraskan and cannot be
returned. Anonymous submissions will
not be published. Those who submit
liters must identify themselves by name,
year in school, major and/or group
affiliation, if any.
Submit material to: Daily Nebraskan, 34
Nebraska Union, 1400 R St. Lincoln,
NE. 68588-0448. E-mail:
\ ... -m
Kill ’em all...
The Wednesday edition of the
Daily Nebraskan ran the cover article
on the delay of Randy Reeves execu
When will people understand that
holding a convicted murderer in jail
for the rest of his or her life will not
solve the problem of stopping crimes
committed on the streets? Rather, by
going through lengthy trials and
appeals and very technical legalities,
some criminals will either end up get
ting shorter sentences, or in the worst
scenario, being set free.
I believe that the justice system is
not justice at all; rather, it is a word
used by the media to make the public
think our country is still governed by
a just and righteous government.
Where has justice gone?
Most criminals commit crimes
and get away with them; murderers of
police officers don’t get caught half
of the time. White-collar crimes are
only uncovered in 1 out of the
nnn nnn bmao
ted. Does this make it legal to swindle
money away from a company if you
don’t get caught? Of course not, but
many people do it because the odds
are greatly in their favor.
If criminals aren’t punished for
their crimes quickly and swiftly, it
costs tax payers millions of excess
dollars, which could be used to fund
programs that would provide poten
tial criminals many other opportuni
I propose that the Bill of Rights
should be amended to include a
clause for quick justice. If a violent
crime or murder is committed, and
can be ascertained by a law enforce
ment officer, then the officer should
be allowed to execute the criminal
right there on the spot, eliminating
tie-ups in court for 20 years.
I also believe the families of vic
tims shouldn’t be able to decide
whether or not the convicted criminal
should die or spend the rest of his or
her life in prison. Criminals would
have their chances in front of God to
reconcile their wrongs, instead of liv
ing out their days wishing they had
done things differently, or had not
even decided to commit die crime.
This system would not only cut
the crime rate, but would also put
money wasted in courts to good use.
In the cases of theft or rape, cut off
the limb or body part used to commit
the crime. It may sound Mongolian in
nature, or even inhumane, but I can
guarantee that person will never steal
or rape again.
Courts and jurors are afraid of
hurting the criminal’s feelings by giv
ing the criminal too stiff a punish
ment. Damn the feelings of the crim
inals! All rights, including the right to
life in some cases, are lost after the
act has been committed.
Treat everyone in this form of jus
tice, sparing no one, and the world
would be a safer place to live; crimi
nals would know what would happen
to them.
Josh Connelly
... And let God sort ’em out
Many thanks to Mr. Josh Funk
and to the DN for finally offering
the public an explanation as to
why Randy Reeves sexually
assaulted and then brutally
murdered two de
fenseless women.
Now it all makes
Mr. Reeves
was so emo
tionally dis
traught and
from years of
with the
fact that
he had
been ta
into a
ker fa
mily that
one night
1980, he decided f —
to get drunk and * *
stab two women to death. Crystal
clear. ^
I’m sure everyone who read Mr.
Funk’s feature story is now convinced
that Randy Reeves is the real victim
here, having been ripped away from
his culture and a mother who hap
pened to be in prison at the time.
Never mind that his adoptive family
was a loving and kind one. Of course,
the only natural response to such a
traumatic experience as this would be
double murder.
Come on. When is this namby
pamby, bleeding-hearted philosophy
that everyone’s a victim, so any
behavior is justifiable, going to end?
Nowhere in the article were the words
“personal responsibility” or “justice”
mentioned. Mr. Reeves murdered two
innocent people. He must now face
the consequences of his actions. No
Josh Moenning
political science and