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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 21, 2000)
Officials doubt company’s motives
Benetton’s advertisements featuring death row inmates raise questions
| By Michelle Starr
United Colors of Benetton released
a controversial ad campaign this month
featuring death row inmates; local
opinions vary as to why or how the
advertisements were made.
The ad campaign against the death
' penalty includes two inmates from
Nebraska, Jeremy Sheets and John
Lotter. Their pictures are on billboards
and news publications across the world.
The clothing company based in
Italy said in a statement it wanted to
“aim at giving back a human face to
' prisoners on death row.”
Christy Hargesheimer, local coor
.. dinator of Amnesty International, said
it wasn’t unheard of for companies to
l tackle social issues. She cited The Body
Shop, which has previously teamed
with Amnesty International.
Hargesheimer said she has had con
tact with Amnesty activists in Italy
where the death penalty doesn’t exist,
and they were appalled that the United
States kills its citizens.
Sheets was sentenced to death for
the 1992 racially motivated rape and
murder of Omaha teenager, Kenyatta
Lotter is on death row for the 1993
murders of Lisa Lambert, Philip
DeVine and Teena Brandon near
J. William Gallup, Sheets’s attor
ney, said he did not understand the use
of inmates for the advertisements.
“I don’t know anyone that’s going to
buy clothes because of a convicted
death row inmate,” he said.
Steve King, director of planning for
the State Department of Correctional
Services, said he was not aware of the
ad campaign when the inmates were
interviewed and photographed.
Inmates have the constitutional
right to have access to the media. But
King said if he would have known the
intended use of the photographs, he
would have been more cautious out of
respect for the victims’ families.
After seeing the ads, an aunt of vic
tim Kenyatta Bush called King and said
she was concerned and that they both
ered her, he said.
“I felt we were mislead,” King said.
“It was not to my understanding that it
was to be used in a campaign in this
country having the overtones that it
King said he received a letter Oct.
18,1999, from a lawyer saying photog
rapher Oliviero Toscani was doing a
photo essay on death row inmates that
would appear mainly in Europe and
Africa, he said.
He was shown an example of pho
tographs of scenes containing children
and nuns and was lead to believe the
project would be of a similar nature, not
used to sell clothing, King said.
He was told the project would be
partially funded by a clothing company,
The photographs were taken at the
penitentiary within about a month of
King receiving the letter; none of the
inmates received money.
All of the images appeared in this
month’s Talk magazine, along with
interviews of the inmates by freelance
journalist Ken Shulman.
“We cannot control the interview,
and we cannot control the outcome,”
Benetton officials could not be
reached for comment.
Hargesheimer, an opponent of the
death penalty, said the resulting ad cam
paign was a reminder that inmates are
“(The ad campaign) is not to dimin
ish the victims; we hold them first and
foremost in our hearts and prayers. No
one has suffered like these people,” she
On behalf of the National
Association of Criminal Defense
Lawyers, Speedy Rice contacted and
negotiated with prison authorities and
inmates’ original lawyers or another
lawyer, according to Benetton’s Web
Gallup, like King, said he did not
fully understand what was being asked
of his client, he said.
Sheets called Gallup, his lawyer,
because he was contacted by a different
lawyer about the project and needed
counsel, Gallup said.
Gallup said at the time of the deci
sion, the only thing his client knew was
that people opposed to the death penal
ty wanted to interview him and take
Gallup did not have any objections
because Sheets has firsthand knowl
edge of life on death row, Gallup said.
The first time Gallup heard of the
clothing campaign was last week, he
Sheets was not trying to be a public
figure, Gallup said. Instead of contro
versy, Sheets needs to be focusing on
his appeal, he said.
Police seize 2 pounds
By Michelle Starr
Police said they won a small battle
in the continuing war on the metham
phetamine trade Wednesday with the
arrests of two people and the seizure of
two pounds of the drug.
t., An investigation that lasted several
months lead to information about the
possession and delivery of metham
phetamine from the suspects’ home at
2661 S. 14th St., to Save-Mart at 11th
and Belmont streets, Lincoln Police
Ofc. Katherine Finnell said.
Officers arrested two men, Juan
Padilla, 28, and Marco Quintero, 26, for
possession of a controlled substance
and intention to deliver.
A confidential source, who had pro
vided reliable information in die past,
gave told investigators how the drugs
were transported, i police report said
On icers observed the men carrymg
bags fiom their residence to their white
The officers pulled the men over for
a traffic stop on Adams Street, between
13* and 14* streets, and searched the
car. They found two pounds of meth.
Though this was .not the largest
quantity seized by police in Lincoln -
some cases have involved more than 50
pounds of the drug, Capt. Duaine
Bullock said - the arrests were signifi
cant Court records indicated the men
purchased the drugs about two weeks
ago and were planning to sell them.
The two men were charged with a
Class I felony. A $250,000 bond was set
for each of the men in court Thursday.
The Lincoln-Lancaster County
Narcotics Task Force, along with the
FBI, conducted die investigation.
Both men will appear in court for
preliminary hearings Feb. 18.
Corrections and Clarifications
The second vice presidential can
didate for the ASUN Impact party is
Amy Ellis. The candidate’s name was
wrong in Thursday’s Daily
Former University of Nebraska
football coach Tom Osborne is con
sidering running for a seat in the U.S.
House of Representatives.
Daily Nebraskan, Lied
budgets OK’d by CFA
By Sara Salkeld
The Committee for Fees
Allocation approved the proposed
budgets for both the Daily
Nebraskan and the Lied Center for
Performing Arts at Thursday’s meet
' The Daily Nebraskan’s request
for $50,863 in student fees was
approved unanimously, and the Lied
Center’s request for $75,000 was
approved with a vote of 8-1.
“(The Daily Nebraskan) effi
ciently used last year’s increase,”
CFA member Jason Mashek said,
referring to the 6 percent increase the
Daily Nebraskan received for 1999
With the increase, the newspaper
promised 60 extra pages of news in
one semester, and it exceeded that by
producing 100 pages.
CFA member Kurt Ramaekers
spoke on behalf of the subcommittee
for the Lied Center budget.
The committee approved the
Lied Center’s request for $75,000, a
decrease from last year’s $99,120.
The decrease is because of an overall
drop in ticket sales.
“They expect the decrease to
continue. It will probably go up in a
few years,” Ramaekers said.
CFA member Noah Gaskill
spoke in favor of the Lied Center.
“I am very supportive of the bud
get the Lied Center brought in,” he
said. “The decrease shows a fiscal
Last week in its presentation, the
Lied Center didn’t show a need for as
much money as it received for last
“There is no way they could have
asked for the same amount. The com
mittees wouldn’t have approved it,”
CFA member Scott Peterson was
the sole member who voted against
the Lied Center’s request.
He said he agreed with the de
crease but disagreed with the amount
of student fees.
Peterson said the Lied Center
should put more money toward the
discounts instead of relying on fees.
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