The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 02, 1999, Page 6, Image 6

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    Anti-death penalty
groups hold forum
By Veronica Daehn
Staff writer
In a forum held by Amnesty
International Monday,
Nebraskans Against the Death
Penalty representative Nelson
Potter said special circumstances
should lead to die commuting of a
death row inmate.
Potter said Nebraska death
row inmate Randy Reeves’ case
was unique, and that the death
penalty should not be an option.
“The idea that he’s a violent
person under normal circum
stances is just not true,” Potter said.
Reeves, who was sentenced to
death in 1981 for the murders of
Vicki Lamm and Janet Mesner,
has an appeal pending in the
Nebraska State Supreme Court.
Potter said Reeves would not
have committed the crime if he
had been sober.
He should suffer some conse
quences, Potter said, but capital
punishment is not the solution.
Amnesty International Co
President Beth Lawson agreed.
“Not that he shouldn’t be pun
ished for it,” she said, “but he
should not be put to death for it.”
Reeves’ attorney Paula
Hutchinson and Lamm’s daughter,
Audrey, were scheduled to appear
at the forum but were unable to
attend. Potter spoke on their behalf.
He said the criticism sur
rounding Audrey Lamm for
opposing the death of her mother’s
murderer was unfounded
“(Audrey Lamm) believes the
way to honor her mother is to take
the same viewpoint her mother
would have taken,” Potter said.
Then 2 years old, Audrey
Lamm was asleep in her house
when Reeves killed her mother,
and remembers nothing about the
Amnesty International’s
Lincoln chapter Co-President
Scott Lindberg said the death
penalty was arbitrarily applied and
could not be used as a justifiable
means of punishment.
On March 1, 1972, the
Supreme Court declared the death
penalty cruel and unusual punish
ment and outlawed it as unconsti
tutional. Four years later, the Court
ruled to reinstate the punishment.
“In 1972, most people seemed
to agree there wasn’t any rhyme or
reason as to why (the death penal
ty) was applied in the cases it was,”
Potter said. “The jury had no guid
ance as to whether to oppose it or
Potter said although the eighth
amendment to the Constitution
forbade cruel and unusual punish
ment, it was not designed to out
law the death penalty.
It was supposed to eliminate
torture executions that were preva
lent in Europe at the time, he said.
“We’ve evolved to such a
point in society now,” Potter said,
“that we should interpret the death
penalty as being cruel and unusual
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Snowball incident
prompts a flurry
of protest, apology
By Brad Davis
Managing editor
About 90 people attended a forum
Thursday to discuss a snowballing incident that
occurred Wednesday afternoon in front of die
Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity.
The fraternity members accused of the
snowballing will face university and fraternity
sanctions, officials announced at the forum.
Due Tran, a senior business major, said he
was targeted by five fraternity members throw
ing snowballs while parking his car in front of
die fraternity house across from the Nebraska
One snowball hit Tran in the leg, he said.
Though he was not harmed physically, Tran
said he thought the snowballing was racially
JJ3. Goli, president of Phi Gamma Delta,
said the snowball throwing was not racially
He announced the five members involved
in the snowballing would face several sanc
tions. Each must, by the end of the semester:
■ apologize to Tran
■ write a letter of apology to the
Vietnamese Student Association and the Asian
Student Alliance
■ attend three cultural events
■ sign up for the diversity retreat. To ensure
the fraternity sanctions are carried out, James
Griesen, vice chancellor for student affairs,
said in a letter that the five fraternity members
would be charged with disturbing the peace
under the Student Code of Conduct.
S' Lincoln Likness, who spoke for himself
and the other four snowballers, said the group
apologized for an “immature act that was all in
good fun.”
“We never meant to hurt anyone - if we did,
we’re truly sorry,” he said.
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Students honor
King Hussein
■ Jordanians remem
ber their lifelong leader
after his death from can
cer in February.
By Brian Carlson
Staff writer
For three Jordanian UNL stu
dents, the death of King Hussein on
Feb. 7 brought sadness and a time to
reflect upon the king’s efforts for
Jordan during his 46-year reign.
“I’m still reacting,” said Rakan
Khirfan, a University of Nebraska
Lincoln sophomore who has not
declared a major. “I can’t tell you
when I will stop reacting to this. I was
bom into this world under him.”
Khirfan and his friends Bakr
Dirani and Rami Nabulsi remember
King Hussein as a man who cared
deeply for the people of Jordan,
brought prosperity and a place on the
international stage to his country and
became an indispensable figure in the
MiddleEast peace process.
King Hussein, who died of can
cer, was crowned in 1953. He ruled
Jordan during Middle East wars in
1967 and 1973 and was heavily
involved in peace negotiations in the
1990s that resulted in Israeli
Palestinian and Israeli-Jordanian
peace accords. Heads of state from
around the world attended his funeral.
Khirfan, Dirani and Nabulsi said
King Hussein was a very personal
ruler who connected with his people.
“He was always there for us,” said
Dirani, a sophomore business admin
istration major. “He wasn’t just a
king. He was always between us,
- walking in the streets among us. You
feel you love him as a person.”
Khirtan recalled a time when
King Hussein, seeking to learn what
people thought of his reign, dressed
up as a taxi driver and drove around
the city, asking passengers what they
thought of the king and his policies.
This desire to be in touch with the
people and their concerns made King
Hussein a great ruler, Khirfan said.
“For me, he is like a father,” he
It is difficult to imagine Jordan
without the man who ruled the coun
try for so long, said Nabulsi, asopho
more electrical engineering major.
“Jordan was King Hussein, and
•- King Hussein was Jordan,” he said.
“Jordan won’t be the same without
Nabulsi said he was confidant
King Hussein’s son and successor,
Abdullah, would carry on his father’s
work for Jordan.
“But it won’t be an easy task,” he
said. “King Hussein was a great
man.” .
All three students gave credit to
King Hussein for his efforts for peace
in tire Middle East.
In 1967, when Jordan went to war
against Israel, it lost the West Bank
and East Jerusalem. But in the 1990s,
King Hussein came to embrace the
peace process as the best hope for the
future of Jordan and the Arab world.
“He took peace because it was
best for Jordan,” Dirani said. King
Hussein remained an important fig
ure in the peace process. In the fall of
1998, the king left his sickbed at the
Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., to
travel to Wye Plantation, Md., and
participate in a peace conference
between Israel and the Palestinians.
After the Wye accord was
reached, President Clinton, Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
and Palestinian Authority President
Yassir Arafat all said King Hussein
had played an important role in the
With King Hussein’s death, the
three Jordanian UNL students said
they were concerned the peace
process could be set back for a while.
“I hope his memory will be with
the leaders who negotiate and inspire
them to,keep on going with that,” said
King Hussein stirred controversy
during the Gulf War of 1990-1991
when his country provided food,
medicine and other nonmilitary sup
port to Iraq, an action that led to tem
porary U.S. sanctions.
Khirfan said King Hussein took
these actions to help the beleaguered
people of Iraq, not to support Saddam
Hussein’s war effort.
“You can’t punish a whole coun
try because of a mistake of its leader,”
he said. Drawn by kinship to his fel
low Arabs, King Hussein did not want
to see the Iraqis suffer unduly,
Nabulsi said.
He didn t want to see Arabic
people fighting in front of us,” he
said. “He knew the people would be
the only victims of war.”
Khirfan, Dirani and Nabulsi said
King Hussein’s legacy would influ
ence Jordan for generations to come.
“His legacy was as a man who
was proud with his ideas, religion,
culture; who loved his people, worked
hard for them and achieved the best of
the best for them,” Nabulsi said “His
life was a continuous service to the
The three students said they
wished UNL had done more to com
memorate King Hussein’s life last
month. Although the university sent
each of them a letter of condolence,
the students said they would have
appreciated a speaker who could have
told about King Hussein’s life, or at
least a book for students to sign in the
Nebraska Union in King Hussein’s
memory.“He is someone who will
never be forgotten,” Khirfan said. “He
is more than a legend.”
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