------------------------------------------------------------------- Measure 67 Has Merit (A letter to the editor of The Bulletin, in Bend, Oregon, responds to the newspaper's staff editorial opposing the state medical marijuana initiative.) Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 20:43:32 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US OR: PUB LTE: Measure 67 Has Merit Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Curt Wagoner (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: Bulletin, The (OR) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.bendbulletin.com Pubdate: 6 Oct 98 Section: My nickel's worth Page:A-6 Author: Allan Erickson, Junction City MEASURE 67 HAS MERIT Two weeks ago you ran an editorial against Measure 67, the medical marijuana initiative. And I had thought you were fairly enlightened on the east side of the Cascades. Apparently 60 years of government anti-pot propaganda means more to you than 10,000 years of anecdotal evidence or the pile of medical liturature that finds pot medically beneficial in many ways, for many illnesses. The insainity of the drug war is expensive monetarily for the United States population. For example, in Texas a young man was killed by U.S. Marines on patrol (on U.S. soil) along the U.S.-Mexican border (drug interdiction). That young man was a teen-ager caring for the family livestock and had no connection with the drug community at all. While not calling the Marines guilty, the U.S. government paid $ 1.9 million restitution to the family of that teen-ager. The drug war makes millionaires out of ruthless thugs. With unconstitutional property seizures, use of felons as infornants, and internal corruption a major (global) problem, the need to reassess- our laws, the actions of law enforcement, and our attitudes-is paramount if we are to enter the third millennium intact. Please vote "Yes" on Measure 67. The Bulletin has erred in support of compassionless, political pigheaededness. Measure 67 is about choice, about the ability to self-medicate and about the direction our country will take in the near future.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pilot program enlists police to help probation officers (The Associated Press says Marion County is taking part in a pilot project spearheaded by the Oregon corrections department that encourages other county agencies to get involved in keeping an eye on offenders - Police in Keizer and Salem will stop by the homes of offenders who live in the 97303 area code, which encompasses all of Keizer and parts of north Salem. High-risk offenders on probation for charges ranging from drug use to manslaughter will be asked to sign up for the program, but sex offenders won't be allowed to participate. Like, who's going to volunteer for something like that?) From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "-News" (email@example.com) Subject: OR program enlists police to help probation officers Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 19:07:10 -0700 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Pilot program enlists police to help probation officers The Associated Press 10/06/98 4:35 PM Eastern KEIZER, Ore. (AP) -- Even after their time behind bars is over, criminal offenders will still have police knocking on their doors. Under a pilot program in Marion County, police have been enlisted to help probation officers keep track of offenders who are put back on the streets. "We think extra eyes and ears in the community would help," said Sheila Lorance, a parole and probation officer. Starting later this month, Keizer and Salem police will stop by the homes of offenders who live in the 97303 area code, which encompasses all of Keizer and parts of north Salem. The program is a piece of a bigger pilot project spearheaded by the corrections department that encourages other county agencies to get involved in keeping an eye on offenders. "We're not replacing probation officers, we're supplementing them," said Keizer police Lt. Kent Barker. "It's a perfect example of community policing. We've got two different departments trying to accomplish the same thing. We're working together to make sure these guys are accountable. We want to send a message that you're going to be watched closely." High-risk offenders on probation for charges ranging from drug use to manslaughter will be asked to sign up for the program, Lorance said. Sex offenders won't be allowed to participate. Each offender will be assigned a local police officer, who will stop by when in the neighborhood to ensure that the offender is following the rules of probation, Lorance said. With the offender's permission, the officer will be able to do searches of the home. Salem police will visit the homes at least twice a month, but not more than once a week, said Lt. Ed Boyd, who is coordinating the program. About 300 offenders will be eligible for the program this month. Another 1,200 will be eligible in another year if the pilot program is successful, said Ron Roach, unit supervisor of Marion County corrections. The officers will keep track of probation violations as well as the times when the offender is in compliance with regulations, Lorance said. The officers' notes will be passed along to the probation officer. Marion County's pilot project is modeled after a program started by the Deschutes County Adult Community Justice. The Deschutes program hasn't yet tracked its program's success rates. Marion County probation officials hope the program will not only keep offenders in line, but will also contribute toward a feeling of community. Said Lorance: "We're all trying to do the same thing: make the client productive in society." *** When away, you can STOP and RESTART W.H.E.N.'s news clippings by sending an e-mail to email@example.com. Ignore the Subject: line. In the body put "unsubscribe when" to STOP. To RESTART, put "subscribe when" in the e-mail instead (No quotation marks.)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Man arrested in raid says authorities are harassing him (The Oregonian says Larry Anderson, the owner of an infamous north Portland house and motorcycle shop, was out on bail Monday after being busted last week for possession of methamphetamine and explosives, and claimed officials were trying to take his eight-room boarding home in order to build a health clinic on it.)The Oregonian letters to editor: firstname.lastname@example.org 1320 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97201 Web: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Man arrested in raid says authorities are harassing him * Larry Anderson, out on bail on drug accusations, claims officials are trying to push him off his property to build a health clinic Tuesday, October 6 1998 By Maxine Bernstein of The Oregonian staff Larry Anderson, owner of a North Portland house and motorcycle shop raided by narcotics detectives last week, vowed Monday to fight the drug and child neglect accusations he faces, claiming police are harassing him. Anderson, 50, contends law enforcement is trying to push him from the property, which Multnomah County has been coveting for several years as a site for a new health clinic. "This is part of the leverage they use to negotiate," Anderson said shortly before his arraignment Monday on accusations he was in possession of methamphetamine and explosives. "They want my property." Anderson is free on bail. A grand jury will hear the case Oct. 12. Portland police on Monday defended their actions. Multnomah County officials Monday called Anderson's claim fallacious. "That is completely erroneous. We have nothing to do with the operation of the Portland Police Bureau. I can't refute that strongly enough," said Eddie Campbell, a spokesman for Beverly Stein, chairwoman of the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners. Friday's police raid revived memories of a 1979 police drug-bust-gone-bad at Anderson's property that ended with the fatal shooting of a Portland police officer, and the resignations of three narcotics detectives who lied to obtain their search warrant. During that raid 19 years ago, Anderson owned the property, but did not live on the site. "That was a different time. This is a different case," said Officer Henry Groepper, a Portland Police Bureau spokesman. Portland narcotics detectives obtained a warrant to search Anderson's home at 9014 N. Lombard St. on Friday based on a prior methamphetamine buy that a confidential informant made at the home. Anderson said his house is an eight-room boarding home. Shortly after noon, two Portland police officers posing as construction workers caught Anderson's attention. Anderson stepped outside his house to talk to the two men, who were wearing hard hats and appeared to be doing work on the sidewalk. After chatting for a few moments, the two men identified themselves as Portland police and took Anderson into custody. Anderson yelled to his wife, who was by the front door of the house, to call his lawyer. She ran inside and boarded up the door behind her, Anderson said. Teams of Portland police, assisted by Washington County SWAT team, entered the house and adjacent motorcycle shop, and fatally shot Anderson's four Rottweilers, police and witnesses said. Police described the animals as attack dogs. Anderson said they were a mama and three pups. Police said they found a small amount of drugs, several explosive devices and numerous guns inside the home and shop but have not identified exactly what was confiscated. A police report was not available Monday, said Detective Sgt. Cheryl Kanzler, a bureau spokeswoman. According to Anderson, investigators located drug residue in a small plastic bag on the floor of his office in his motorcycle parts shop. The explosive devices, he said, included a fuse connected to a film canister, a railroad signaling device, the top part of a practice grenade, and a pyrotechnic strobe light. Among the guns seized were six rifles, one shotgun and five handguns from his motorcycle shop, Anderson said. "I've been a gun collector since grade school," he said. He is accused of distribution of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, three counts of possession of a destructive device, two counts of manufacturing a destructive device and one count of child neglect. The state took Anderson's 2-year-old child, who was at home at the time of the raid, into protective custody. The 5,000-square-foot parcel Anderson owns at the intersection of North Lombard Street and North New York Avenue is the one remaining piece of property standing in the way of the county's plans to build a new community health clinic on that block. "His is the missing piece on the block -- the land that we need for the clinic building," said Robert Oberst, Multnomah County property manager. The county has been negotiating with Anderson for more than two years to buy the property, but the sides have not agreed on a sale price. Anderson said Monday he will not budge unless the county can arrange a suitable land exchange, providing him with a similar home and business building elsewhere.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Oakland, Fairfax Cannabis Groups Face US Attorneys (According to The San Francisco Examiner, US District Judge Charles Breyer said Monday in San Francisco that he would take under advisement the question of whether to authorize federal marshals to close the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative and the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana, or allow a jury trial to determine if the clubs operated lawfully because their members' medical needs supersede federal drug restrictions.) Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 19:01:26 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Oakland, Fairfax Cannabis Groups Face U.S. Attorneys Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Tuesday, October 6, 1998 Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.examiner.com/ OAKLAND, FAIRFAX CANNABIS GROUPS FACE U.S. ATTORNEYS Medical Pot Clubs' Case In Court A federal courtroom was the scene of a showdown Monday between federal prosecutors seeking to shut down cannabis clubs in Oakland and Fairfax, and defense lawyers who argue that doing so would deny the clubs' clients a medical necessity. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer said he would take the matter under advisement before ruling whether to authorize federal marshals to close the clubs, or allow a jury trial to determine if the clubs operated lawfully because their customers' medical needs supersede federal drug restrictions. "Pain vs. government - that is this case. Can the government insist on pain?" queried James Brosnahan, one of a prestigious team of attorneys representing the clubs. "We have put in the air more than enough to create a tryable issue on the matter of (medical) necessity." But federal prosecutors countered that Congress had considered and rejected the notion that marijuana had acceptable medical value. They also faulted customers of the cannabis clubs for not trying "reasonable legal alternatives" such as applying to become subjects in medicinal marijuana research. Breyer questioned both sides closely, indicating he believed that the "medical necessity" defense constituted "particularized criteria." He suggested that perhaps "it can't be done on a blanket basis. . . . It has to be done on a person-by-person basis." The case stems from the government's motion to declare the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative and a similar Fairfax club in contempt of court and close them for violating Breyer's earlier injunction against breaking federal law by distributing cannabis. The debate about marijuana use has grown more contentious since the passage of Proposition 215, which permits seriously ill patients to grow and use marijuana for medicinal purposes such as pain relief so long as they have a doctor's OK. The 1996 initiative put the will of California voters in direct conflict with U.S. drug laws.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Re - Judge Breyer ruling Monday on Oakland CBC (A list subscriber notes Judge Breyer said Monday he would issue a written ruling within seven to 10 days regarding the California medical marijuana dispensaries.) From: BulldogUSA@aol.com Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 23:39:52 EDT To: DRCNet Medical Marijuana Forum (email@example.com) Subject: Re: Judge Breyer ruling Monday on Oakland CBC Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com judge BREYER will isue a written decision in 7 - 10 days on if and how we proceed to a jury trial. immunity was denied to witnesses but that will not stop a few couragous MD.s and patients from testifying if allowed to. janet reno, come and get us. yabba dabba do, rev. hemp ps my money still says we never get to trial because it will be delayed to death. the feds know they cannot win a jury trial.
------------------------------------------------------------------- City Ponders Medical Marijuana Zones - Panel To Consider Where Patients Can Smoke Pot (The Sacramento Bee says A Sacramento City Council committee will debate today a proposal for a new municipal law that would ban medicinal marijuana smokers from puffing within 100 feet of any person or building, such as a restaurant or office.)Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 19:01:17 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: City Ponders Medical Marijuana Zones: Panel To Consider Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 Source: Sacramento Bee (CA) Contact: http://www.sacbee.com/about_us/sacbeemail.html Website: http://www.sacbee.com/ Author: Tony Bizjak Bee Staff Writer CITY PONDERS MEDICAL MARIJUANA ZONES: PANEL TO CONSIDER WHERE PATIENTS CAN SMOKE POT When and where is it OK for a medical patient to smoke medicinal marijuana in public? A Sacramento City Council committee will debate that question today. The council's law and legislation committee is scheduled to look over a proposal for a new city law that would ban medicinal marijuana smokers from puffing within 100 feet of any person or building, such as a restaurant or office. The ban would extend to 1,000 feet around schools, and possibly around other places children congregate, such as the city zoo, officials said. Ryan Landers, a local medicinal marijuana advocate, said he plans to testify that the law violates patients' rights because it is too restrictive. At least one council member, Darrell Steinberg, said he supports the idea, but will express some concerns as well. The proposed law, drawn up by the city attorney and police at the request of City Councilman Robbie Waters, is less restrictive than one passed last year by the county Board of Supervisors. That law bans the smoking of medicinal marijuana anywhere in public. It applies in any unincorporated areas of the county. The city of Sacramento has been wrestling with the issue since Landers was arrested last year for smoking marijuana on the K Street Mall. Landers, who is HIV positive, said he smokes marijuana to ease nausea and work up an appetite. He has a doctor's approval to do so. Proposition 215, passed by California voters in 1996, makes it legal to smoke medicinal marijuana and to cultivate small amounts of it for medical use. Amid confusion over the law, the charges against Landers were dropped. That led Waters, a former Sacramento County sheriff, to seek a law limiting the smoking of marijuana in public. Waters and others have argued that smoking marijuana in public sends a wrong message to children, who may not understand the medicinal aspects. "The idea is not to take legitimate uses away from people," he said. "We want to keep this from escalating to where people are smoking marijuana on bus stop benches." Police Capt. Ernie Daniels said city officials are trying to adhere to the spirit of Proposition 215, but notes in a report to the council: "The ingestion of medicine, especially one that disperses smoke into the surrounding area, should be a private matter and not a public display." Steinberg said he thinks the proposed ordinance's limitations are reasonable, but he is disappointed that the ordinance doesn't address a request he made to look into a way some health-related organizations can be given the OK to cultivate marijuana for patients. Steinberg said he thinks the city should help medicinal marijuana users legally. "I would not favor a Cannabis Club because of the potential for abuse, but I would look for a partnership with a health-related facility to make sure there is no abuse," he said. Landers said the ordinance allows medicinal marijuana users almost no place to smoke when they are out of their homes. "At 10 feet away, you are definitely not going to breath marijuana smoke," he said. "If the person is discreet, kids are not even going to realize what is going on." The committee hearing is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. today at City Hall. The committee is as an advisory body to the full council, which will take up the matter at a later date if it passes the committee.
------------------------------------------------------------------- SF Settles With Family Of Man Killed By Police (The San Francisco Examiner says the city has agreed to pay $110,000 to settle a $10 million lawsuit filed by the family of William Hankston, an unarmed man shot in the back of the head in September 1995 by Jessie Washington, an undercover prohibition agent.) Date: Thu, 8 Oct 1998 21:39:18 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: SF Settles With Family Of Man Killed By Police Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Pubdate: October 6, 1998 Author: Rachel Gordon Of The Examiner staff Note: Headline by MAP Editor. This piece is an excert. SF SETTLES WITH FAMILY OF MAN KILLED BY POLICE [Excerpted from:] S.F. SUPERVISORS With Supervisors Sue Bierman, Leslie Katz, Jose Medina and Michael Yaki absent, the Board of Supervisors on Monday discussed the following matters: * POLICE SETTLEMENT: Approved the payment of $110,000 to settle a $10 million lawsuit filed by the family of William Hankston, who was fatally shot by an undercover officer following an attempted drug bust nearly three years ago. Hankston, who was unarmed, was shot in the back of the head by Officer Jessie Washington on Sept. 6, 1995, as he fled on a bicycle at Ocean View Playground in the Ingleside District following an attempted drug bust. Washington told police investigators he had accidentally shot Hankston as he tried to pull the suspect off the bicycle. In October 1995, the criminal grand jury reviewed the case and decided not to bring charges against Washington.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Drug Crisis (A letter to the editor of The Los Angeles Times seems to suggest the American mass media don't name major illegal drug traffickers - unlike the Mexican media - because they've been bought off.) Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 19:00:56 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: The Drug Crisis Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Pubdate: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: email@example.com Fax: 213-237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Author: Jose Reines THE DRUG CRISIS Jesus Blancornelas (Commentary, Sept. 27) tells us that the emperor has no clothing. Where are the media and law enforcement on identifying the U.S. drug cartel leaders? Nowhere. Are we battling a $10-billion war against a drug army without leaders? Why can we not win? The answer may be that the drug trade creates corruption at all levels. Such high gross margins cannot be found in any legal enterprise. If drugs were legal, we would win the war and be able to regulate them and reduce demand the way we have done with cigarettes. You say that they are more dangerous than cigarettes? Sure, but in the open you can help the people with addiction propensities. JOSE REINES Hacienda Heights
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ballot Funding Outlined - Proposition 2 Foes Lead The Fund-Raising (The Anchorage Daily News says Alaskans for Medical Rights, the group supporting Proposition 8, the Alaskan medical marijuana initiative, received $126,000 of its $134,000 war chest from George Soros. The campaign against Proposition 8, organized just last week, reported only one $750 in-kind contribution from Worksafe Inc., the drug-testing lab. The Soros money is dwarfed by the $500,000 spent by the Mormon Church in Salt Lake City on behalf of Proposition 2, a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages.) Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 18:16:12 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US AK: Ballot Funding Outlined Proposition 2 Foes Lead The Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Source: Anchorage Daily News (AK) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.adn.com/ Pubdate: Wednesday, October 7, 1998 Author: Liz Ruskin Daily News reporter (firstname.lastname@example.org) BALLOT FUNDING OUTLINED PROPOSITION 2 FOES LEAD THE FUND-RAISING A California group funded in large part by billionaire philanthropist George Soros has pumped $126,000 into the campaign for an Alaska ballot measure to legalize the medical use of marijuana. Meanwhile, the campaign fighting a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages - which opponents warned would be funded by well-organized outside forces - has received only $35 of its $108,000 from out-of-state organizations, the anti-amendment group reported this week. The groups campaigning for and against the Nov. 3 ballot measures had to report their contributions Monday to the Alaska Public Offices Commission. The fund-raising rules that state candidates live by - no individual can give more than $500 and only a few out-of-state residents can contribute - don't apply to ballot measure campaigns. The APOC reports reveal that some of the campaigns are well-funded efforts while others are shoestring operations. By far the biggest is the Alaska Family Coalition, which is promoting the same-sex marriage ban. It reported total contributions of $597,000. As the coalition announced last week, $500,000 of that came from the Mormon Church in Salt Lake City. Another $50,000 came from American Renewal, a Washington, D.C.-based organization run by Christian activist Gary Bauer. The remainder of its contributions came mostly from Alaska sources. Those ranged from a Fairbanks homemaker who gave $300 to the Anchorage Baptist Temple, which gave $3,000. Proposition 2, if approved by voters, would add a sentence to the Alaska Constitution that says that to be recognized by the state, a marriage must be between one man and one woman. The Alaska Legislature decided to put it on the ballot in May, after Superior Court Judge Peter Michalski refused to dismiss a lawsuit filed by two men seeking a state marriage license. The No on 2 campaign reported contributions totaling $108,000, none of which was larger than $3,000. The variety of donors included a New York consultant who works for the Gay/Lesbian Victory Fund and gave $400, a Juneau building inspector who gave $1,500, and retired Republican legislator Arliss Sturgulewski, who wrote a $250 check. The No on 2 campaign also received $1,000 from Anchorage businesswoman Jo Michalski, wife of Judge Michalski. She said her reasons for giving had nothing to do with the same-sex marriage case still pending in her husband's courtroom. She said she makes her own money and her own decisions. She only told her husband about the donation a week later, she said. Her oldest brother, she explained, is gay and was in a committed relationship for 15 years, until his partner died. "I did it in honor of them," she said. It was at the funeral that her family first met the partner's family, she said. Had circumstances been different, they would have met when the couple married, she said. All but 9 percent of the campaign's money came from Alaskans, a fact the anti-amendment group touted in a press release. "Today's reports clearly demonstrate what's at stake in this election," the statement says. "Do we really want Alaska's constitution, our most precious document, to be rewritten by Outside religious and political groups?" Mary Ann Pease, a spokeswoman for the Alaska Family Coalition, said people are making too much of the contribution from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As she figures it, $500,000 isn't that much, considering that there are some 24,000 Mormons in Alaska. Assume only 10 percent of them tithe to the church, she says. Assume those that give 10 percent of their salary, as the church requires, make an average of $30,000 a year. That comes to $7.2 million. "So what's $500,000? That's nothing," she said. Another group that has a big benefactor is Alaskans for Medical Rights. The group is supporting Proposition 8, which would allow cancer patients or people with chronic debilitating diseases to possess up to an ounce of marijuana. They would have to get written documentation from their doctor saying they might benefit from marijuana and they would have to register with the state. Alaskans for Medical Rights has raised $134,000, all but $9,000 or so from a California group called Americans for Medical Rights. Soros, a currency trader and globe-trotting financier, is a major contributor to the California group. "Considered the most prodigious individual giver in the world, Soros doles out $350 million a year from an estimated annual income of $1 billion," Newsweek magazine reported last year. He has committed millions to foster peace and build open societies in Eastern Europe. He has also funded right-to-die campaigns and medical marijuana initiatives in California and Arizona. "We are happy to take money from George Soros," said David Finkelstein, campaign manager for Alaskans for Medical Rights. "He was essentially Time magazine's philanthropist of the year." The campaign opposing the medical marijuana proposition isn't so well-funded. Citizens Against Ballot Proposition 8, organized just last week, reported only one contribution. Worksafe Inc., the drug-testing lab where the group's chairman and treasurer work, gave a $750 in-kind contribution, consisting of staff time, phone equipment and supplies.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Blow Dealt To Pot Initiative (The Denver Post says the Colorado Supreme Court ruled Monday that the medical marijuana intiative sponsored by Coloradans for Medical Rights should not have been placed on the Nov. 3 ballot, reversing last month's ruling by Denver District Judge Herbert Stern. The matter will be decided by Oct. 15, the date the high court has set for Secretary of State Vikki Buckley to have the ballot signatures recounted.) Date: Thu, 8 Oct 1998 17:41:33 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CO: Blow Dealt To Pot Initiative Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Citizens for Compassionate Cannabis (email@example.com) Pubdate: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 Source: Denver Post (CO) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.denverpost.com/ Author: Howard Pankratz, Denver Post Legal Affairs Writer BLOW DEALT TO POT INITIATIVE Oct. 6 - In what could be an unprecedented Election Day snafu, Coloradans may be casting straw votes for the marijuana for medicinal purposes initiative that the state Supreme Court Monday said should not have been put on the ballot in the first place. The ruling is the latest development in the on-again, off-again battle to put the controversial measure on the ballot ever since the number of valid signatures has been questioned. Initiative supporters submitted 88,815 signatures. To get on the ballot, 54,242 valid ones were needed. The entire matter will be effectively be decided by Oct. 15, the date by which the high court has set for Secretary of State Vikki Buckley to have the ballot signatures recounted. If she rules that there were enough valid signatures, then the votes cast on Nov. 3 will decide the fate of the initiative. If, however, Buckley rules that there still are not enough valid signatures, then any votes case on the measure are moot. The measure asking Coloradans to approve the use of marijuana for medical purposes is on the ballot now, in compliance with last month's ruling by a Denver District Court judge. But the Supreme Court ordered Buckley to conduct a line-by-line review of the signatures. When the polls close on Nov. 3, Buckley is to count the votes cast for the initiative "if, and only if," she has already determined there were a sufficient number of valid signatures among the 88,815, said the justices. The marijuana initiative would allow people with "debilitating medical conditions," such as cancer and AIDS, to legally possess and use marijuana as a form of treatment. A Buckley statement Monday said she was happy with the ruling and that the examination of signatures was starting immediately. Buckley's Democratic opponent, Ric Bainter, called the ruling "continuing fallout from mistakes made a few months ago and the kind of confusion that can result in the mismanagement of a very important office. I question whether she's going to be able do an adequate recount in 10 days, if she couldn't get an adequate count in 30 days," he said. Supporters of the measure - Coloradans for Medical Rights - have run into numerous roadblocks in their efforts to get the initiative on the ballot. Ed Ramey, the lawyer for the group, said Monday the latest ruling will not help. "It leaves some uncertainty surrounding the question of whether or not the votes will be counted," said Ramey. "And when there is uncertainty, it is difficult to raise money, it is difficult to get people motivated to go out to speak for the measure and it is difficult to get the public focused on the initiative. "That is the problem we are facing right now," he said. "It's definitely disappointing," said Julie Roche, a spokeswoman for Coloradans for Medical Rights, called the ruling "definitely disappointing. It's hard to know what kind of impact this will have." Roche said the group will "remain hopeful" and continue getting out information. She said the group turned in 30,000 more signatures, "more than enough to go forward with this." Deputy Attorney General Maurice Knaizer, who represented Buckley before the Supreme Court, said Buckley will undertake the re-examination and believes she can have it finished by the deadline. Buckley originally ruled that initiative supporters had failed to gather enough valid signatures for the measure to be on the ballot and refused to certify it. Using a random sampling technique, Buckley ruled that only 47,960 of the 88,815 signatures were valid and did not meet the 54,242 signatures needed. But Coloradans for Medical Rights claimed that a thorough review of the Secretary of State's random sampling technique showed it was severely flawed. The group claimed that an independent review of Buckley's sampling technique, which included an entry-by-entry analysis, showed that of the 4,482 signatures Buckley used as a random sample, there were 225 signatures which were determined invalid which, in fact, were valid. The group contended that the random sample should have shown that 52,312 of the signatures are valid, or 96.4 percent of the 54,242 required. Under Colorado law, any time the random sample shows that the number of valid signatures is greater than 90 percent but less than 110 percent, Buckley is required to examine each signature collected. However, the group contended that since Buckley had failed to complete a line-by-line analysis within the 30-day period required by law, the initiative automatically had to be placed on the ballot. Denver District Judge Herbert Stern agreed on Sept. 10. and ordered Buckley to put the measure on the ballot. She did so, and simultaneously asked the Supreme Court to allow her to recount the signatures gathered by the measure's supporters. Stern rejected Knaizer's argument that a line-by-line analysis should commence immediately, labeling the procedure "awkward and messy." In its ruling Monday, the Supreme Court said it was specifically over-ruling Stern.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Accounting Of Pot Petitions Ordered (The Rocky Mountain News version) Date: Thu, 8 Oct 1998 21:15:37 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CO: Accounting Of Pot Petitions Ordered Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Citizens for Compassionate Cannabis (email@example.com) Source: Rocky Mountain News (CO) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://insidedenver.com/news/ Pubdate: 6 Oct 1998 Fax: (303) 892-5499 Author: John Sanko Rocky Mountain News Capitol Bureau ACCOUNTING OF POT PETITIONS ORDERED State Supreme Court calls for signature count on marijuana initiative The state Supreme Court Monday ordered a line-by-line count of petitions to legalize marijuana for medicinal use. Issue 19 is already on the Nov. 3 ballot. But if the count shows too few signatures by registered voters, the election won't count. The sufficiency of signatures has been questioned since the initiative petitions were submitted in August. Secretary of State Vikki Buckley said a random sampling of signatures indicated it fell short, but proponents took her to court, saying her staff's work was sloppy. Last month, a court ordered the issue on the ballot without a line-by-line count. "We're disappointed in that (the Supreme Court ruling) leaves us in a state of uncertainty again," said Denver attorney Ed Ramey, who represents Coloradans for Medical Rights. "But we think we have plenty of signatures. We submitted more than 88,000. Some in there obviously will be rejected, but we are confident we have sufficient numbers (54,242) to be on the ballot." The measure would allow possession of up to two ounces of marijuana for people with "debilitating medical conditions" for pain relief and to enhance appetite. The court gave Buckley's office 10 days to check the signatures. "The court orders that the votes cast for the measure shall be counted if, and only if, the secretary of state determines before Election Day that a sufficient number of valid signatures have been submitted for the measure," the Supreme Court said. Buckley was ill Monday and unavailable to comment on the court's decision. Deputy Attorney General Maurice Knaizer, who handled the case for the secretary of state, had asked the lower court to order a line-by-line review of the petition. But Denver District Court Judge Herbert Stern rejected that request. He said a name-by-name review would be "awkward and messy" and promote uncertainty among voters. Ramey said proponents of the ballot measure hope to keep a close watch on the review. "Obviously we can't sit in there with her and observe the process," Ramey said. "But to the extent that we are able, we do want to follow up on the quality of her work. I assume she will tell us which names she is not accepting, and we'll check to see if it is appropriate. "All we can ask is that she comply with the order and that she please do it accurately."
------------------------------------------------------------------- DEA's Largest Field Office Is In Business (The San Antonio Express-News says The Drug Enforcement Administration showed off its newest field office Tuesday in El Paso, Texas. Robert Castillo will be in charge of a division of more than 150 agents and detectives.) Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 18:12:13 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US TX: Dea's Largest Field Office Is In Business Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Source: San Antonio Express-News (TX) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.expressnews.com/ Pubdate: 6 Oct 1998 Author: Jodi Bizar Special to the Express-News DEA'S LARGEST FIELD OFFICE IS IN BUSINESS EL PASO -- The Drug Enforcement Administration showed off its newest and largest field office here Tuesday, even as a former agency official said the government took too long in building and staffing a facility in the middle of a hot drug-trafficking corridor. "This is the only one right on the border," said Robert Castillo, who will be in charge of the division and more than 150 agents and narcotics detectives. "As of Oct. 1, we became operational, and this is significant because it represents 740 miles or 40 percent of the U.S.-Mexico border in an area that is a very heavily utilized drug corridor," Castillo said. But Phil Jordan, a retired DEA official, said that even with the new office and the larger staff, the agency still needs a larger force here and will continue to play catch-up to the drug cartels. "The cartels have unlimited resources," Jordan said. "Right now the cartels have us outnumbered." Castillo and Jordan were at a news conference as the four-story, 100,000-square-foot, heavily guarded facility in west El Paso was shown to the news media. The new field division extends from the Big Bend area to the New Mexico-Arizona border. It includes 102 DEA agents, plus 50 officers from other agencies assigned to work with the DEA. Castillo said only about 40 agents covered the same geographic area four years ago, and they were under the supervision of the Dallas, Houston and Denver field divisions. But Jordan said the new field division in El Paso comes just a little too late and does not have enough manpower. "We're playing catch-up now," he said. "We requested an expansion in this part of the country approximately 10 years ago. The internal politics that goes into getting something like this accomplished is mind-boggling." He went on to ask: "If Washington had recognized that El Paso-Ciudad Juarez (Mexico) is one of the most powerful drug entry points in the United States, how many kids who have overdosed would still be alive?" Jordan said officials with the Dallas and Houston field divisions appealed for a stronger presence in West Texas and New Mexico, but those requests were not granted while expansions were made to U.S. Customs, U.S. Border Patrol and the FBI. "That's my frustration with Washington, D.C.," he said, "and that opinion comes from 33 years of fighting the drug war." Jordan headed the Dallas DEA field office and was the director of a multiagency, international organization that collects and distributes information on drug-trafficking. He also said 102 agents aren't enough to fight the army of drug traffickers. "We could easily triple that just to level the playing field," he said. About 1,000 agents would be a good strength, Jordan suggested, but politics and economics make 300 agents a more realistic goal. He went on to praise the opening of the new office here as "something that is positive." Bill Blagg of San Antonio, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas, was among those who agreed: "This is a celebration for our officers." And Tom Kelly, his counterpart in New Mexico, added: "Washington has come to understand the critical role El Paso plays (in drug trafficking)." About 70 percent of all illegal drugs enter the country through the southern border, and a sizable chunk of that comes in through West Texas and New Mexico. Blagg said his office filed 3,000 cases last year, half of which were drug related. "This is the most productive area. The growth is unprecedented, second only to California," he said. Castillo said before the field office was opened, "It was hard to observe what was happening here. Now with an increase in resources, the more we'll be able to do." U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno approved the creation of the field office about six months ago. Officials said it will help coordinate efforts of the various law enforcement agencies in the region. Castillo was reminded that on a recent trip here, U.S. drug czar Barry McCaffrey proposed creating a southern border czar who would coordinate drug-interdiction efforts among all federal agencies. "I won't comment on that," Castillo said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Methadone Is Just Another Drug (Four letters to the editor of The New York Times take opposing sides in the fight about methadone maintenance programs going on between the White House Drug Czar, General Barry McCaffrey, and New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.) Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 18:05:22 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: NYT: 4 PUB LTE: Methadone Is Just Another Drug Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Kendra Wright Source: The New York Times Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Pubdate: 6 Oct 1998 METHADONE IS JUST ANOTHER DRUG To the Editor: It's time that we who provide medical addiction treatment that ultimately makes patients narcotic-free speak up against methadone maintenance programs as they are now constituted (news article, Sept. 30). It is morally wrong to promote methadone maintenance as a treatment because, in reality, it replaces one narcotic with another, and especially since we can inexpensively, medically detoxify the heroin addict over a few days. Also, to promote methadone maintenance programs that are open-ended and provide support for a life-time of addiction is an insult to the thousands of recovering addicts who are able to kick the habit without methadone and who are now drug-free. NICHOLAS A. PACE, M.D. New York, Oct. 2, 1998 *** To the Editor: Clyde Haberman (NYC column, Oct. 2) calls Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani to task for his incivility in referring to Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey, the White House drug policy director, as a "disaster" as well as for using such language to describe a man who was "the youngest four-star general, as well as the most highly decorated Army general on active duty, when President Clinton appointed him to the drug post." Yet whatever importance one attaches to civility in public discourse, the wrongheadedness of Mayor Giuliani's attack on General McCaffrey's endorsement of methadone use has less to do with the general's military record than with the fact that the attack was wrong on its merits. On the other hand, were the Mayor to turn his attention to General McCaffrey's resistance to the use of marijuana for medical purposes, now there's a policy for which the word "disaster" would be none too strong. ALAN LEVINE New York, Oct. 3, 1998 *** To the Editor: Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey is both a military hero and an expert on drug policy (NYC column, Oct. 2). His opinions may fairly be subject to question and criticism, but his reputation as a patriot and dedicated drug fighter is not. Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani's use of words like "disaster" to describe General McCaffrey says much about the character flaws of the Mayor, not about General McCaffrey. We Vietnam veterans are sensitive about draft avoiders who attack the true heroes of our horrific little war. As Clyde Haberman said, General McCaffrey has earned the right to courteous treatment, especially from someone who never wore his country's uniform - like the Mayor. MICHAEL J. GORMAN Whitestone, Queens, Oct. 2, 1998 *** To the Editor: Let us hope that Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey continues to make drug policy recommendations based on scientific evidence (news article, Oct. 3). Next issue: needle exchange programs. There is a tremendous body of literature supporting the expansion of needle exchange programs to reduce the spread of diseases like AIDS and hepatitis. It is unfortunate that General McCaffrey is adamant about not using Federal money for needle exchanges; however, nothing is stopping him from urging state and local governments to review the literature and make decisions for themselves. This would require minimal political capital and zero expenditure and would send the signal that needle exchanges are not destructive and are worth considering. BEAU KILMER Berkeley, Calif., Oct. 3, 1998
------------------------------------------------------------------- Two Amish men plead guilty in conspiracy to sell cocaine (The Associated Press Says two Amish men have pleaded guilty to buying cocaine from a Philadelphia-area motorcycle gang called the Pagans, then selling the drug to Amish youth. Abner King Stoltzfus, 23, and Abner Stoltzfus, 24 - unrelated - face five to 40 years in prison and up to $2 million in fines.)From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "-News" (email@example.com) Subject: Two Amish men plead guilty in conspiracy to sell cocaine Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 19:06:04 -0700 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Posted at 10:10 a.m. PDT; Tuesday, October 6, 1998 Two Amish men plead guilty in conspiracy to sell cocaine by Dan Robrish The Associated Press PHILADELPHIA - Two Amish men have pleaded guilty to conspiring to sell cocaine to fellow members in a case that threw a spotlight on how modern-day problems are encroaching on the sect's simple way of life. Abner King Stoltzfus, 23, and Abner Stoltzfus, 24, could get five to 40 years in prison and up to $2 million fines. No sentencing date was set. The men are not related; Stoltzfus is a common name among the Amish. Prosecutors said that from 1992 to 1997, the two men bought cocaine from a Philadelphia-area motorcycle gang called the Pagans, then sold the drugs to Amish youth. Eight members of the Pagans also have been charged. The accusations shook Lancaster County's 22,000 conservative Old Order Amish, who isolate themselves from the outside world and shun modern conveniences. They ride horse-drawn buggies and dress in plain, black clothes. Some Amish acknowledged that the sect has had to grapple with alcohol and marijuana problems for a decade. But word of Amish young people using hard drugs prompted the community's bishops to send a letter to all the churches, warning about cocaine. At the time of their indictment, the Stoltzfuses were participating in a "timeout," a period during which young Amish men and women are allowed to explore the outside world and decide whether to join the church. Both men intended to join, their lawyers said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Amish Men Face Jail For Plotting To Sell Cocaine (The Daily Telegraph version) Date: Thu, 8 Oct 1998 07:39:14 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Amish Men Face Jail For Plotting To Sell Cocaine Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (email@example.com) Source: Daily Telegraph (UK) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.telegraph.co.uk Pubdate: 6 October 1998 Author: Phillip Delves-Broughton in Philadelphia AMISH MEN FACE JAIL FOR PLOTTING TO SELL COCAINE TWO young Amish men pleaded guilty in a Philadelphia court yesterday to conspiring to distribute cocaine and amphetamines, bringing to a swift end to one of the most embarrassing episodes in the history of the devout, reclusive communities which have occupied Pennsylvania since colonial times. Abner Stoltzfus and Abner King Stoltzfus, who are in their early twenties and not related, were charged with eight members of the Pagans, a motorcycle gang known for drug trafficking and violence. The involvement of the Old Order Amish of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania - who farm without tractors, drive horse-drawn buggies and refuse to use electricity - with the biker gang has shocked many people. The young Amish men's offence carries a minimum sentence of five years in prison. In court yesterday, they sat in traditional Amish black suits. About 40 members of their families and community filled the visitors' benches, the elders with their beards and broad-brimmed hats, the women wearing dark skirts and white caps. The younger Amish men wore colourful shirts under their waistcoats and sported "heavy metal" hair cuts. Whatever liberties that could be taken with the Amish dress code, they took: their black trousers were drainpipes; their shoes the sort of clunking trainers any teenager would wear. Like all Anabaptists, the Amish do not officially join the church until they are baptised as adults. As teenagers, they are allowed a period of relative freedom know as "rumspringa". During this time, they join a gang which sings hymns, plays games and provides the opportunity to find a mate. Abna King was involved in one of the racier gangs, known as the Crickets who would use cocaine at their weekend parties, as well as drink beer, drive suped-up cars and listen to rock music. He began dealing cocaine after he hired two members of the Pagans for his roofing business for which the other Abna Stolzfus also worked. This brought the Amish men into contact with men with nicknames such as "Twisted" and "Fat Head" who supplied them with the cocaine for their weekend parties. Both Abna King Stoltzfus and Abna Stoltzfus plan to return to their communities where they will be baptised and live out an Amish life.
------------------------------------------------------------------- North Carolina Drug Tax Held Invalid (The Raleigh News and Observer says The US Supreme Court Monday let stand a federal appeals court ruling that nullified North Carolina's tax on illegal drugs, casting doubt on the constitutionality of similar laws in other states. However, a bill that would reinstate the tax has passed the North Carolina senate and is pending in the house finance committee.) Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 16:34:57 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US NC: NC Drug Tax Held Invalid Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Walter Latham Pubdate: Tue, 06 Oct 1998 Source: Raleigh News & Observer (NC) Contact: http://www.news-observer.com/feedback/ Website: http://www.news-observer.com/ Writer: Staff & Wire Reports N.C. DRUG TAX HELD INVALID Court Lets Stand Ruling That Found It A Criminal Penalty WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court refused Monday to revive North Carolina's tax on illegal drugs, casting doubt on the constitutionality of similar laws in other states. The justices, without comment, let stand a federal appeals court ruling that said the tax law is really a criminal penalty that lacked necessary due-process safeguards. In its ruling in January, the appeals court relied heavily on a 1994 Supreme Court ruling that barred states from forcing drug offenders to pay a tax in addition to criminal fines. The 1994 decision, on a 5-4 vote, said such taxes were barred by the Constitution's ban on double punishment for the same crime. In the appeal acted on Monday, N.C. Attorney General Michael Easley defended the state's invalidated 1989 law by contending that it is "not contingent on arrest of the taxpayer or on seizure of illegal drugs from him." But the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in striking down the tax on illegal drug possession, had said, "It should come as no surprise that no drug dealer has ever filed a form and voluntarily paid this tax." General Assembly May Act In a statement released Monday afternoon, Easley said he was disappointed with the justices' action but urged the state House to pass a bill that would reinstate the tax. A bill to do that has passed the Senate and is pending in the House Finance Committee. The legislature is expected to adjourn next week. "This new bill emphasizes that this is only a tax and not a criminal penalty," Easley said. "The bill also lowers the amount of the tax, as the federal court required." Since taking effect in 1989, the state has collected more than $40 million from the drug tax. The money is used primarily to supplement local law enforcement budgets. "Now more than ever it is critical that we reinstate this tax," Easley said. "It provides a valuable resource to law enforcement agencies across the state." The dispute over the tax arose after federal, state and local law enforcement agents seized about $25,000 worth of cocaine from David Lynn Jr.'s home in Reidsville. He was convicted in federal court of possessing the drug with intent to sell. North Carolina never sought to prosecute Lynn, but immediately after his federal conviction assessed $389,125.20 in taxes, penalties and interest on the confiscated cocaine. In the effort to collect on that tax assessment, state officials seized two cars and a commercial building owned by members of Lynn's family. Lynn and the affected family members sued the state in 1994, challenging the tax law. A federal trial judge upheld the law, but the 4th Circuit court ruled that it could not stand. The state's appeal contended that the appeals court wrongly expanded the scope of the 1994 decision. The appeal said the ruling was "a devastating blow to the state's ability to assess a tax on the possession of illegal drugs and to collect the substantial revenue." North Carolina reportedly has been the most aggressive state in enforcing a tax on illegal drugs. The appeals court cited as an example statistics for 1993 indicating that state officials collected more than $6 million -- more than 10 times as much money as Kansas, which ranked second in collections. Curricula Choice Not A Right In another action affecting North Carolina, the court let stand a ruling that public school teachers have no free-speech protection against being disciplined over the curriculum materials they select. The justices, without comment, rejected the appeal of a Buncombe County drama teacher punished for letting students put on a controversial play. The appeal argued that her free-speech rights were violated. But the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 7-6 that teachers have no such rights when it comes to curricula. The ruling is not a decision and sets no national precedent. But it allows the 4th Circuit ruling to stand -- and continue to be law in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. Margaret Boring had taught high school for 11 years when in 1991 she selected the Lee Blessing play "Independence" for four students in her advanced drama class to present in an annual statewide competition. The play focuses on a single mother and her three daughters, one of whom is a lesbian and one of whom is pregnant and unmarried. RTI Loses Contract Dispute The justices, without comment, also rejected an appeal by Research Triangle Institute in a contract dispute with the Federal Reserve. The contract was for $616,000, but RTI claimed that the Fed should have paid it another $284,000 for extra work added by the agency. RTI sued the Fed in 1996. The Fed influences the national economy by controlling key short-term interest rates. Lower courts ruled that the government agency is entitled to sovereign immunity and cannot be sued in federal court without its consent. The Supreme Court let that ruling stand. "We approached this in a conservative way. We were never counting on the revenue," said Reid Maness, an RTI spokesman. "We'll just move on." RTI has about 1,500 employees and handles around $160 million of research a year, Maness said. In the appeal acted on Monday, lawyers for RTI argued that although the Federal Reserve Board enjoys immunity from lawsuits over its regulatory acts or personal injuries, it should not be shielded from lawsuits over the contracts it enters.
------------------------------------------------------------------- High Court Studies Privacy Rights In Drug Case (The San Francisco Examiner says the US Supreme Court heard arguments today in a Minnesota drug case involving the Fourth Amendment rights of people who temporarily visit someone else's home. The high court ruled in 1990 that an overnight guest in a private home has the same privacy rights as the homeowner, but the justices have not given such protection to someone who visits but does not stay overnight.) Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 17:41:51 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US DC: High Court Studies Privacy Rights In Drug Case Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Pubdate: Tue, 06 Oct 1998 Author: LAURIE ASSEO, Associated Press Writer HIGH COURT STUDIES PRIVACY RIGHTS IN DRUG CASE WASHINGTON (AP) -- Most people who temporarily visit someone else's home should not be protected against police searches without a warrant, the Supreme Court was told today by a prosecutor in a Minnesota drug case. In particular, such protection doesn't extend to two men arrested after a policeman peeked through a gap in window blinds and saw them packaging a white powdery substance, prosecutor James C. Backstrom told the high court. ``Criminal activity is not the kind of activity normally associated with the privacy of a dwelling,'' Backstrom said. But attorney Bradford Colbert, representing the two men, said that in many cases short-term guests in a home should have the same protection against unreasonable searches as the Constitution's Fourth Amendment gives to homeowners. But both lawyers and the justices themselves struggled over which house visitors -- whether involved in legal or illegal activity -- are entitled to privacy protection. Justice Stephen G. Breyer said there was no doubt homeowners were entitled to constitutional protection. But he added, ``Why do we want to protect the pizza man?'' The Avon lady should not expect her activities to be more private if invited indoors than if she made her sales pitch on the front step, suggested Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. And Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg asked, ``Would it be any different ... if they had gathered to play a game of poker rather than put together coke?'' Backstrom said most short-term guests do not have an expectation of privacy, but a frequent visitor might have a stronger argument. ``If they play (poker) five time a week they get standing, but if they play once they don't?'' asked Justice David H. Souter. The justices are expected to issue a ruling by July. Minnesota's highest court threw out the drug convictions of Wayne Thomas Carter and Melvin Johns. The Clinton administration supported the state's appeal of that ruling. Justice Department lawyer Jeffrey A. Lamken argued that it is not a search when a police officer sees something that is exposed to outside view. The high court ruled in 1990 that an overnight guest in a private home has the same privacy rights as the homeowner. The justices have not given such protection to someone who visits but does not stay overnight. Courts also have denied privacy protection for activities that are easily observable by the public. Carter and Johns were arrested in Eagan, Minn., in May 1994 after a police officer acting on a tip looked in an apartment window and saw Carter, Johns and another person putting white powder into plastic bags. To see inside, the officer walked behind some bushes and looked through gaps in the closed window blinds. The men were arrested when they left the apartment and tried to drive away. A pouch containing cocaine was found in the car. Carter and Johns were convicted of conspiracy to commit a drug crime and aiding the commission of a drug crime. They appealed, saying the drug evidence was unlawfully gained without a search warrant. Lower courts ruled against them, but the Minnesota Supreme Court threw out their convictions. Carter and Johns had legal standing to challenge the officer's actions even though they were only guests in the apartment, the court said. The state's top court also said the officer took ``extraordinary measures'' to look into the apartment, and therefore his actions amounted to a search requiring a warrant.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Court Lets Indiana Schools' Drug Tests Stand (The Washington Post version of yesterday's news about the US Supreme Court leaving intact a federal appeals court ruling allowing a public high school in Rushville, Indiana, to require urine tests for all students involved in extracurricular activities.) Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 19:00:56 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Court Lets Indiana Schools' Drug Tests Stand Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Tom O'Connell) Pubdate: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 Source: Washington Post (DC) Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Author: Joan Biskupic Section: A3 COURT LETS INDIANA SCHOOLS' DRUG TESTS STAND The Supreme Court yesterday let an Indiana high school continue requiring students to take drug tests if they want to participate inextracurricular activities, even if they are not suspected of using drugs. The justices, on the first day of their new term, refused to take up an appeal of a lower ruling that said schools may force students to provide urine samples under monitored conditions as a way of deterring illegal drugs. Lawyers for parents and students who had protested the ruling said it "represents a significant and unwarranted erosion of" students' privacy rights and protection against unreasonable searches. But school officials in Rush County, Ind., called the program a reasonable, effective way to curb drug use, particularly before it reaches epidemic proportions. The high court rejected the appeal without comment, and while the denial sets no national precedent, civil libertarians said the action would embolden public schools to step up the wide-scale use of drug tests. "This is an issue being faced by school districts all over the country," said Kenneth J. Falk of the Indiana Civil Liberties Union. "I certainly think schools now will go as far as the [Rush County policy] goes. But more guidance is needed from the court" on a national standard. When the Supreme Court last ruled on student drug testing, in 1995, it permitted an Oregon drug testing policy that was confined to student athletes. The Indiana policy applies not only to sports activities but to everything from the school Library Club to the Future Farmers of America. All told, the justices acted on more than 1,600 appeals that had been filed during their summer recess. But the drug testing case was one of the most closely watched because it arises from nationwide efforts by schools to steer students away from drugs, in part through increased urinalysis testing. Such policies, particularly when used on students not suspected of drug use, invoke Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches, and parents and students have repeatedly challenged the tests in courts. In the Rush County schools case, William P. and Diana J. Todd sued the school district on behalf of their son, William Matthew, a freshman who volunteered to videotape the football team at after-school events. In rejecting the Todds' challenge to the mandatory drug testing, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, which covers Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, said, "[S]uccessful extracurricular activities require healthy students." The court's three-judge panel said the program was similar enough to the Oregon athletes' drug-testing requirement that the Supreme Court upheld in 1995. The full 7th Circuit refused to hear the case, with dissenting justices asserting that "the broad-brushed reading of" the high court's 1995 ruling "takes us a long way toward condoning drug-testing in the general school population." In another school's case, the justices rejected an appeal by a North Carolina drama teacher who had been disciplined by a school board for putting on a controversial play depicting a dysfunctional family. Separately yesterday, the justices announced they will hear a new case testing how easy it should be for disabled workers to sue their employers for discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act when the workers also receive Social Security disability benefits. A federal appeals court ruled that if a worker receives disability benefits, a judge should presume that the worker is barred from claiming she is a "qualified individual with a disability" and entitled to sue an employer for bias. The case involves a woman named Carolyn Cleveland, who worked for Policy Management Systems Corp. until she suffered a stroke and had trouble speaking. Cleveland applied for Social Security disability benefits, but after a few months she was able to return to work. She notified the Social Security Administration of her changed condition. Cleveland claimed the company failed to make several accommodations, including computer training, to help her do her job. Finally, she was fired. She reapplied for benefits and also sued the company for discrimination. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Cleveland, pointing out the inconsistency in a person saying they are totally disabled and unable to work, and then saying they are able to perform the essential functions of a job if only the proper accommodations are made. For those who have once claimed to be totally disabled, the court said, the bar for making a claim under the ADA should be higher. That ruling conflicts with more lenient standards set by other courts, and the justices will resolve the split in the case of Cleveland v. Policy Management Systems Corp.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Court inaction may spur drug tests in public schools (The Miami Herald version) From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "-News" (email@example.com) Subject: Court inaction may spur drug tests in public schools Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 19:07:44 -0700 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Published Tuesday, October 6, 1998, in the Miami Herald Court inaction may spur drug tests in public schools By AARON EPSTEIN Herald Washington Bureau WASHINGTON -- While the NAACP picketed outside the Supreme Court about a lack of diversity among law clerks, the justices quietly opened their 1998-99 term Monday by refusing to hear more than 1,600 accumulated cases -- including two that could strengthen officials' control of public school students and teachers. Only six cases were accepted for review, bringing the court's docket so far to 51 cases, among the smallest opening-day totals in decades and a sign, some legal observers say, of a court determined to lower its profile in American life. In the two school disputes, the justices left intact lower-court rulings that allow random drug testing of students who take part in extracurricular activities and permit discipline of teachers for using curriculum materials that administrators find objectionable. By refusing to review these cases, the justices set no national precedent. But the lower-court rulings, which are now final, could encourage other school districts to expand student drug-testing or tighten controls over what is taught in classrooms. Voluntary testing In South Florida, neither Miami-Dade nor Broward county public schools currently conduct random drug tests. However, Miami-Dade Public Schools has instituted a voluntary drug-testing program. The drug-testing case came from Rush County, Ind., a rural area southeast of Indianapolis, where Rushville High School prohibited any student from taking part in any extracurricular activity unless a parent or guardian consented to testing of that student's urine for drugs, alcohol or tobacco. Among the included activities were the Student Council, Future Homemakers of America, Speech Club, Library Club, French Club and Students Against Drunk Driving. The parents of William Matthew Todd and Anne, Steven and Jennifer Hammons refused to consent and sued after the youngsters were barred from their extracurricular activities. Todd's father, William, is retired from the local sheriff's office, where he was an undercover officer investigating drug offenses. Both a federal district judge and a Chicago-based federal appeals panel sided with the school district. By a 7-4 vote, the full appeals court refused to reconsider the case. Only three states The Rush County ruling is legally binding only in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. But the Indiana Civil Liberties Union, in vainly appealing to the Supreme Court, noted that school boards in other states already have adopted similar drug-testing programs. The classroom curriculum case arose in Asheville, N.C., where a high school principal transferred Margaret Boring, a prize-winning high school drama teacher, to a junior high after community activists objected to a play that she had staged for interscholastic competition. The play, Independence, by Lee Blessing, depicts the turmoil within a dysfunctional family consisting of a divorced mother and her three daughters. One of the daughters is a lesbian; another is pregnant with an illegitimate child. Ministers complained that Boring had brought "blasphemy, premarital sex, homosexuality and promiscuity" into the high school. Boring sued, but a federal appeals court based in Richmond, Va., splitting 7-6, ruled that the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of expression does not protect classroom teachers in matters of curriculum. That right, the majority said, belongs to "the school, not the teacher." Conflicting viewpoint Dissenters said the decision "eliminates all constitutional protection for the in-class speech of teachers" and allowed administrators to punish the expression of unpopular views. The ruling in the case, Boring vs. Buncombe County Board of Education, is binding in Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. It's in line with a general Supreme Court trend that favors expanding the powers of school officials. The Supreme Court, for example, has allowed officials to make warrantless searches of students, to censor student publications and plays, and to discipline students for "indecent" speech. In an exercise of free speech outside the Supreme Court building, an estimated 1,000 demonstrators protested the scarcity of ethnic and racial minorities among the justices' law clerks, drawing scores of police officers. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People organized the protesters, who carried signs proclaiming "Stop Giving Minorities the Gavel" and "Stop Low Diversity on the High Court." Nineteen demonstrators -- including NAACP President Kweisi Mfume -- were arrested for trying to extend their sidewalk protest to the court plaza in defiance of police orders.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Supreme Court upholds drug tests for students (The Associated Press version) From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen" (email@example.com) To: "-News" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Supreme Court upholds drug tests for students Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 19:31:19 -0700 Sender: email@example.com Supreme Court upholds drug tests for students 10/06/98 Associated Press WASHINGTON - Rejecting an appeal by teenagers and their parents, the Supreme Court on Monday let a rural school district conduct random drug tests for all students in extracurricular activities - even if the students are not individually suspected of using drugs. The justices, acting without comment, left intact a federal appeals court ruling in an Indiana case that said such testing does not violate students' privacy rights. Starting its 1998-99 term with a flurry of paperwork, the court issued orders in more than 1,600 cases. It granted full review to six. Outside the courthouse, more than 1,000 NAACP members demonstrated Monday to protest the court's lack of minority law clerks. NAACP president Kweisi Mfume and 18 other people were arrested on charges of trying to demonstrate on court property rather than on the public sidewalk. The court's action in the drug-testing case sets no national precedent. But it left in place a ruling that remains binding law in Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. And it may entice educators in other states to expand drug testing. Julie Hunter Wood, general counsel of the National School Boards Association, discounted such a development. "Most schools approach this issue as one of prevention, not detection, and I expect they will continue such diligent efforts," she said. At issue was a program that Indiana's Rush County High School adopted in 1996. The program bars students from all extracurricular activities - sports teams, library club, Future Homemakers of America and the like - unless they and their parents or guardians consent to random urinalysis tests. Also Monday, the court agreed to use the case of a Guatemala man living in California to clarify when some immigrants can be deported, despite fears they would be persecuted in their home country. And the justices rejected an appeal aimed at forcing a Minnesota church to return the $13,450 in donations it received from a couple within a year of their seeking federal bankruptcy protection.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Court Backs Drug Testing Of Students (A slightly different Associated Press version in the Daily Herald in Illinois) Date: Thu, 8 Oct 1998 05:37:46 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US WA: Court Backs Drug Testing Of Students Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Steve Young (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: 6 Oct, 1998 Source: Daily Herald (IL) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.dailyherald.com/ Author: Associated Press COURT BACKS DRUG TESTING OF STUDENTS WASHINGTON - Public schools that want to require students to take drug tests may find some encouragement in a Supreme Court action Monday that allowed an Indiana district to continue such tests. Rejecting an appeal by teenagers and their parents on Monday, the court let a rural school district conduct random drug tests for all students in extracurricular activities - from sports teams to the library club - even if they are not individually suspected of using drugs. The justices, acting without comment, left intact a federal appeals court ruling that said such testing does not violate students' privacy rights. Starting its 1998-99 term with a flurry of paperwork, the court issued orders in more than 1,600 cases. It granted full review to just six. Outside the stately courthouse, more than 1,000 members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People noisily demonstrated to protest the court's lack of minority law clerks. NAACP President Kweisi Mfume and 18 other people were arrested for trying to demonstrate on court property rather than on the public sidewalk. The court's action in the drug-testing case is not a decision and therefore sets no national precedent. But it left in place a ruling that remains binding law in three states - Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. And it could entice educators in other states to expand drug testing. The National School Boards Association says it has no hard numbers, but believes very few school districts require testing of students, according to spokesman Jay Butler. Julie Hunter Wood, the group's general counsel, said she would not expect a wave of new drug-testing programs. "Most schools approach this issue as one of prevention, not detection," she said. In 1995, the justices voted 6-3 to uphold random drug tests for student athletes, citing both their "role model" status among peers and the importance of "deterring drug use by our nation's schoolchildren." Monday's action does not preclude the possibility the highest court will someday spell out more definitively the bounds of permissible drug testing. Rush County High School in rural Indiana adopted its drug-testing program in 1996 even though there was little evidence of drug use among its students. The program bars students from all extracurricular activities - sports teams, library club, Future Homemakers of America and the like - unless they and their parents or guardians consent to random urinalysis tests. The testing is conducted by a service in a vehicle parked on school grounds. If a student tests positive, his or her family can explain the result by, for example, showing that the student is taking certain prescription medicine. Absent such proof, the student is suspended from all extracurricular activities until passing a new test. The program was challenged by Matthew Todd's parents when he was a freshman working as a volunteer who videotaped the football team. Matthew's parents refused to consent to the drug testing and Matthew, now a junior, was barred from his volunteer work. Steve and Gina Hammons also refused to let their three children be tested. Two had been members of the library club and Future Farmers of America. Only a daughter, Jennifer, now a senior, remains at the high school. The Todds and Hammonses sued, but a federal trial judge upheld the drug testing. A three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed, stating that "successful extracurricular activities require healthy students." The appeals court panel ruled that the program was "sufficiently similar" to an Oregon school district's drug-testing of student athletes that the Supreme Court had condoned in 1995. The parents asked the full 7th Circuit court to consider the case, but were denied. The dissenting judges said the panel's decision "takes us a long way toward condoning drug testing in the general school population."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Supreme Court Lets Stand Wider Student Drug Tests (The Chicago Tribune version) Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 18:39:24 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Supreme Court Lets Stand Wider Student Drug Tests Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Steve Young Pubdate: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chicago.tribune.com/ Author: Jan Crawford Greenburg Section: Sec. 1 SUPREME COURT LETS STAND WIDER STUDENT DRUG TESTS WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a constitutional challenge to an Indiana school that tests certain students for drugs and alcohol. The court's action also could affect schools in Illinois and Wisconsin. The court let stand a decision by the federal appeals court in Chicago, which had approved the testing earlier this year. That means a high school in Rushville, Ind., may continue its drug-testing program for students involved in extracurricular activities, as can other schools in the three states under the appeals court's jurisdiction. The case was among more than 1,500 the court declined to review Monday, its first day back from summer recess. The court said it would decide six cases, including one that raises the issue of deporting illegal immigrants who claim they will be persecuted if returned to their native countries. The Supreme Court already has announced 44 cases it will decide this year, and it will continue adding cases to its docket until early next year. Though Monday was relatively quiet inside the court, the sidewalk in front of the white marble building was filled with marchers chanting and singing to protest the small number of minority law clerks hired by the justices. Nineteen people, including NAACP President Kweisi Mfume, were arrested for moving off the sidewalk onto court property. The demonstration, organized by the NAACP and a coalition of minority legal groups, was designed to call attention to the fact that, of the 428 law clerks hired by the current justices, less than 2 percent have been African-American and only 1 percent have been Hispanic. No American Indian has ever clerked for a Supreme Court justice. "No matter how you look at it, there's no rational explanation for it," said Randy Jones, immediate past president of the National Bar Association, the nation's largest association of black lawyers. "The majority of issues the Supreme Court decides significantly impacts the minority community, and if you have a situation where only a certain race of people are being law clerks, you lose a perspective, you lose the knowledge and wisdom of minority persons in this country." Jones heads a task force that will try to find ways to increase the number of minority law clerks at the Supreme Court and in the lower federal courts. He met over the summer with Justice Clarence Thomas, who, with Justice John Paul Stevens, has the best record for hiring minority clerks. Jones said Thomas told him he would like to see more minority candidates. Inside the courtroom Monday, there was little evidence of controversy. On the first Monday of October, the court always hands out thick stacks of papers listing the names of cases it summarily is declining to review. Buried in that list Monday were scores of interesting decisions that will stand as law in their jurisdictions until the Supreme Court says otherwise, including the Indiana drug-testing case. That case arose after Rushville Consolidated High School began requiring students involved in any extracurricular activity to agree to random testing for drugs, alcohol and tobacco. Four parents sued on behalf of their four children, arguing that the testing violated the Constitution's prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures. The appeals court disagreed, pointing to a 1995 Supreme Court decision that allowed school districts to test student athletes for drugs. Broader drug testing also is permissible, the appeals court said, noting that extracurricular activities are voluntary and that the purpose of the testing "is to protect the health of the students involved." Other issues rejected for review Monday included whether a New York City ordinance banning topless dancing discriminates against female dancers. The court also let stand a North Carolina high school teacher's punishment for letting students put on a controversial play. She alleged her free speech rights were violated after she was transferred to a junior high school, where she could no longer teach advanced drama students. As members of the House Judiciary Committee across the street in Congress were debating whether to launch an impeachment inquiry of President Clinton, the court disposed of a matter related to the Monica Lewinsky investigation. It refused to review a ruling that kept the news media away from federal court proceedings and documents related to the grand jury investigation of the relationship between Clinton and Lewinsky.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Top Court Allows Wider Testing for Drugs in Schools (The Los Angeles Times version in The San Jose Mercury News) Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 11:04:04 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Top Court Allows Wider Testing for Drugs in Schools Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (email@example.com) Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 Author: David G. Savage - LA Times TOP COURT ALLOWS WIDER TESTING FOR DRUGS IN SCHOOLS WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court on Monday gave school officials broader authority to administer drug tests to students and to discipline teachers who inject controversial ideas into the curriculum. Acting on two closely watched appeals on the first day of the court's new term, the justices dismissed a constitutional challenge to an expanded school drug-testing program in Indiana and rejected a First Amendment challenge filed on behalf of a North Carolina drama teacher. Outside the courthouse, more than 1,000 members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People noisily demonstrated to protest the court's lack of minority law clerks. NAACP President Kweisi Mfume and 18 other people were arrested for trying to demonstrate on court property rather than on the public sidewalk. The court's opening session on the first Monday in October is typically a day of disappointment for lawyers and litigants, and this Monday proved no exception. More than 1,600 appeals were dismissed without a hearing. The actions in the school cases are not binding rulings, but they let stand conservative appellate decisions that are likely to be widely cited. Over the past decade, the high court has consistently deferred to school authorities in disputes involving the scope of constitutional rights. Three years ago, the court said high school athletes can be forced to undergo drug tests. This does not violate a student's privacy rights under the Fourth Amendment, the court said, because of special circumstances for sports. For safety's sake, athletes traditionally submit to physical exams before the season. Moreover, playing under the influence of drugs might lead to severe injuries. But some school officials saw this ruling as allowing even broader testing. In 1996, the Rushville, Ind., school district announced a policy of random and unannounced drug tests for students who participated in all extracurricular activities, including the library club, the student council or Future Farmers of America. To participate, a student must consent to submit to regular urine samples to test for illegal drugs, alcohol or cigarettes. Officials stressed the policy was not punitive. Those who tested positive were barred from the extra activities or from driving to school until they were tested again and found to be clean, but they were not arrested or prosecuted. The parents of William Todd, a freshman who videotaped the school's football games, and several others filed a lawsuit with the aid of the American Civil Liberties Union. They said that since many affected students were not suspected of drug use, the testing was not justified. Moreover, the students were not participating in potentially dangerous activities, they said. Nonetheless, a federal judge upheld the program, and the U.S. appeals court in Chicago agreed on a 7-4 vote. The ACLU appealed the case of Todd vs. Rush County, arguing that the lower court ruling will be seen as a green light for random testing of most students. But the justices dismissed it in a one-line order. The teacher-related case -- this one involving the North Carolina drama coach -- is expected to deal a severe blow to the notion of constitutionally protected ``academic freedom'' for teachers. Over 14 years, Peggy Boring had coached a high school drama team that regularly won state and regional awards. In 1991, her team of four actresses performed the play ``Independence'' by Lee Blessing, the story of a single mother and her three grown but troubled daughters, one of whom is lesbian. Though the play was intended for a drama competition, not a school production, some students saw the performance, and one parent complained to the school board. A few months later, the teacher was removed from her post and transferred to another school. She sued, contending that the First Amendment and the principle of academic freedom shielded her from being disciplined simply because of the play's controversial theme. On a 6-5 vote, the U.S. Court of Appeals disagreed. The teacher ``has no First Amendment rights derived from her selection of the play `Independence,' '' the appeals court said, calling the matter ``nothing more than an ordinary employment dispute.'' The National Education Association appealed the case of Boring vs. Buncombe County, but again the justices dismissed it without a hearing. 1997 - 1998 Mercury Center.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Say Good-Bye To The Fourth Amendment, Kids (A letter to the editor of The Standard-Times in New Bedford, Massachusetts, says concern over dogs sniffing through kids' school lockers is a dead issue. The Supreme Court previously nullified the Fourth Amendment for students when it allowed random drug testing of high school athletes.) Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 21:32:15 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US MA: PUB LTE: Say Good-Bye To The 4Th Amendment, Kids Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Source: Standard-Times (MA) Contact: YourView@S-T.com Website: http://www.s-t.com/ Pubdate: Tuesday, 06 October, 1998 Author: Thomas J. O'Connell, M.D., San Mateo, CA SAY GOOD-BYE TO THE 4TH AMENDMENT, KIDS I've read Scott Smith's thoughtful concerns (Standard-Times, Sept. 30) about whether searches by drug-sniffing dogs infringe on students' Fourth Amendment rights and whether growing up in an atmosphere of suspicion while undergoing multiple such intrusions will adversely affect the kids. My advice to Scott Smith is to relax; it's a dead issue anyway. When they allowed random drug testing of high school athletes, the Supreme Court canceled the Fourth Amendment for students. If witnessed excretion is the price of going out for the soccer team, what's the big deal about having your locker contents sniffed by a dog, just to stay in school? Instead, Scott should look at the bright side: It's clear that we're in this drug war to stay; at the rate we're going, when today's first graders are ready to leave high school, their career choices will be down to dealing drugs or working in law enforcement. Either way, the experience of having dealt with drug-sniffing dogs and other forms of surveillance throughout their entire school experience will provide some practical career benefits, unlike that other useless stuff -- math, history, and science. Is this a great country or what? THOMAS J. O'CONNELL, M.D. San Mateo, CA
------------------------------------------------------------------- Amnesty International targets US penal system (The Reuters version of Sunday's news about the international human rights organization making the United States the focus of its next one-year campaign. Among other things, Amnesty International's 153-page report, "Rights for All," says prison overcrowding is largely the result of long sentences for drug offenders, and has brought a shift in emphasis from rehabilitation to punishment and incapacitation.) Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 02:06:35 EDT Errors-To: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: RandallBart (Barticus@att.net) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: Amnesty International targets U.S. penal system (Reuters) http://www.infobeat.com/stories/cgi/story.cgi?id=2556454021-7fb 01:32 PM ET 10/06/98 Amnesty International targets U.S. penal system By Jonathan Wright WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The human rights group Amnesty International launched Tuesday a one-year campaign for penal reform in the United States, which has more prisoners known to be awaiting execution than any other country. The group called on U.S. authorities to abolish the death penalty for juveniles, ban restraint devices such as stun belts, stop jailing asylum seekers and set up independent bodies to investigate allegations of police brutality. In ``Rights for All,'' a 153-page report released for the campaign launch, Amnesty said it saw a ``persistent and widespread pattern of human rights violations.'' ``Across the country thousands of people are subjected to sustained and deliberate brutality at the hands of police officers. Cruel, degrading and sometimes life-threatening methods of restraint continue to be a feature of the U.S. criminal justice system,'' it added. ``In U.S. prisons and jails, inmates are physically and sexually abused by other inmates and by guards... Sanctions against those responsible for these abuses are rare,'' it said. A State Department official answered that the United States welcomed scrutiny by Amnesty but believed that its political and judicial systems were ``the envy of the world.'' The report said prison guards restrain the inmates with electric shock stun guns, leg irons, pepper spray and restraint chairs. Some women prisoners have given birth in shackles. Amnesty International said it calculated that U.S. prisons for adults also hold at least 3,500 child convicts in violation of an international convention on civil rights. People convicted for crimes committed as children can even face the death penalty, putting the United States in the same category as Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. U.S. states have executed more than 460 prisoners since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. Unlike in most industrialized countries, the trend is toward more and more executions. About 3,300 people wait on death row. Some of those executed have been mentally disabled. Blacks who kill or rape whites are far more likely to face execution than if the criminals are white or their victims black. ``The death penalty is often enacted in vengeance, applied in an arbitrary manner, subject to bias because of the defendant's race or economic status, or driven by the political ambitions of those who impose it,'' the report said. A similar pattern emerges for the country's 1.7 million prisoners, over 60 percent of whom are from racial or ethnic minorities. Half of them are African Americans, who make up 12 percent of the overall population. Overcrowding, largely the result of long sentences for drug offenses, has brought a shift in emphasis from rehabilitation to punishment and incapacitation, Amnesty said. Prisons have cut education and some have removed exercise equipment and restricted leisure activities, it added. Some states have tried to save money by sending prisoners to jails run by private companies, where many experts believe inmates are more likely to face mistreatment, it said. Amnesty said the U.S. penal authorities break international agreements in two ways -- by detaining foreign asylum seekers without sufficient reason and by denying consular access to foreigners arrested by the police. It cited cases of asylum seekers spending more than a year in detention alongside convicted criminals. Sometimes the guards punish them for minor violations of rules which have never been explained to them, it said. The State Department official said the U.S. immigration authorities ``make every effort to balance legitimate law enforcement responsibilities with equally important humanitarian concerns.'' He would not elaborate. In one case that hit the headlines earlier this year, the state of Virginia ignored an International Court of Justice order to suspend plans to execute Paraguayan citizen Angel Breard, who had been denied consular access on arrest. The report quoted a retired senior police officer as saying that in 47 years in law enforcement, he had never seen anything from the State Department or the FBI on the Vienna Convention, which contains the consular access provision. The organization urged the U.S. government to recognize the primacy of international human rights laws, saying it was not enough to depend solely on the U.S. constitution. ``Human rights standards have evolved, and today the level of human rights protection recognized in U.S. law falls short of some of the minimum standards set down in human rights treaties,'' the report said. Amnesty also urged the U.S. government to impose stricter controls on exports of equipment to foreign police forces. REUTERS
------------------------------------------------------------------- Amnesty's report on US abuses spurs probe (An Associated Press and Chicago Tribune version in The Seattle Times) From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "-News" (email@example.com) Subject: Amnesty's report on U.S. abuses spurs probe Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 19:05:34 -0700 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright (c) 1998 The Seattle Times Company Posted at 06:17 a.m. PDT; Tuesday, October 6, 1998 Amnesty's report on U.S. abuses spurs probe by The Associated Press and Chicago Tribune The Justice Department plans to review concerns raised by Amnesty International, which yesterday launched a yearlong campaign taking the United States to task for human-rights violations and calling on the country to set up independent bodies to monitor allegations of police brutality and other abuses. Justice Department spokeswoman Christine DiBartolo said some of the cases cited in London-based Amnesty's report already are under investigation. The Amnesty report cited abuses such as "widespread and persistent" police brutality, "endemic" physical and sexual violence against prisoners, "racist" application of the death penalty and use of "high-tech repression tools" such as electro-shock devices and incapacitating chemical sprays. Stun guns, like any tool, can be misused, said Gerald Arenberg, a spokesman for the National Association of Chiefs of Police. But "it's actually one of the better devices, if used properly." Arenberg also acknowledged that police can benefit from oversight, urging those who believe they have been victimized to contact such authorities as the FBI or state attorneys. "I think we do need someone watching over our shoulders," Arenberg said. Amnesty also challenges what it says is the U.S. practice of imprisoning foreign citizens who arrive seeking political asylum, sometimes putting them in jail for months with convicted criminals. Immigration and Naturalization Service officials stressed that people are not detained simply for seeking asylum and denied that they are detained for prolonged periods. "The seeking of asylum is not what gets you in detention," said INS spokesman Andrew Lluberes. Those who enter the country without proper documents or who falsify their identity can be placed in the expedited removal process, but can be granted asylum by an immigration judge, he said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Amnesty Report Alleges Widespread US Rights Abuses (The Associated Press version in the New Bedford, Massachusetts, Standard-Times.) Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 19:01:46 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Amnesty Report Alleges Widespread US Rights Abuses Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 Source: Standard-Times (MA) Contact: YourView@S-T.com Website: http://www.s-t.com/ Author: Kalpana Srinivasan, Associated Press writer AMNESTY REPORT ALLEGES WIDESPREAD U.S. RIGHTS ABUSES WASHINGTON -- The United States measures other countries against a lofty ideal when it comes to human rights, but it frequently violates these standards within its own borders, Amnesty International contends. From prisoners forced to wear shock-emitting stun belts to police who beat suspects without cause, the 153-page report provides the group's first comprehensive look at human rights violations in the United States. Amnesty International accuses the United States of maintaining a double standard: criticizing other countries while not abiding by international treaties and principles of human rights itself. The United States, for example, has failed to sign the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, which seeks to promote human rights for children. "When the U.S. house is not in order, it makes it far harder for the U.S. to take the kind of leadership role in international human rights that many of us in Amnesty would like to see it take," says William Schulz, executive director of the American chapter of the London-based organization. Amnesty, a longtime vocal opponent of capital punishment, admonished the United States for its continued use of the death penalty. The country should move to abolish the system, which is "racist, arbitrary and unfair," the group said. U.S. authorities have executed more than 350 prisoners since 1990, and another 3,300 prisoners await execution on death row, the report noted, and some states execute juveniles and persons with mental retardation. International standards dictate that law enforcement officers should use force only as a last resort and in proportion to the threat they encounter. But the report accuses police of frequently disregarding these standards, beating and abusing suspects unnecessarily. The 1997 case of Abner Louima, a Haitian immigrant allegedly tortured by New York City police, recently propelled the problem into the public spotlight. But the report also points to abuses in other cities such as Philadelphia -- where police allegedly conducted unjustified traffic stops and searches, particularly on minorities -- and Pittsburgh -- where drug squad officers allegedly planted evidence on suspects and falsified reports. The report criticizes officers who use stun guns -- a handheld device with two metal prongs that emits an electric shot -- or who "hogtie" suspects by binding their wrists and ankles together. Stun guns, like any tool, can be misused, said a spokesman for the National Association of Chiefs of Police. But "it's actually one of the better devices, if used properly," said Gerald Arenberg. Arenberg also acknowledged that police can benefit from oversight, urging those who believe they have been victimized to contact such authorities as the FBI or state attorney. "I think we do need someone watching over our shoulders," Arenberg said. Prison facilities are another site of frequent human rights violations, the report alleges, saying inmates fall victim to excessive force by guards, sexual abuse by fellow inmates and cruel use of restraints, such as leg-irons and restraint chairs. Some prisoners are forced to wear remote control stun belts, which emit a shock when activated by guards. The stun belts, used by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, 100 county agencies and at least 16 state correctional facilities, cause severe pain and incapacitation, says the report. "Amnesty International believes that such devices are inherently subject to, and even invite, abuse," the report says. While the United States prides itself as a haven for the persecuted, asylum seekers often end up thrown in jail, detained indefinitely and treated as criminals, says the report. Immigration and Naturalization Service officials stressed that people are not detained simply for seeking asylum and denied that they are detained for prolonged periods. "The seeking of asylum is not what gets you in detention," said INS spokesman Andrew Lluberes. Those who enter the country without proper documents or who falsify their identity can be placed in the expedited removal process, but can be granted asylum by an immigration judge, he said. He added that from October 1997 to October 1998, the 523 people who were eventually ordered removed by an immigration judge stayed an average of 59 days. Another 709 spent 34 days in detention while their claims were heard and 640 spent 93 days in detention before appearing before an immigration judge.
------------------------------------------------------------------- US In Dock For Prison Cruelty (The version in Britain's Guardian) Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 12:53:13 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: UK: US In Dock For Prison Cruelty Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (email@example.com) Source: Guardian, The (UK) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.guardian.co.uk/ Pubdate: Tue, 06 Oct 1998 Author: Nick Hopkins US IN DOCK FOR PRISON CRUELTY Torture and sexual violence against prisoners is widespread in jails across the United States, according to a report published today, which also accuses the country of wholesale human rights abuses. The two-year study by Amnesty International, its first comprehensive analysis of north America, accuses the US of failing in its duty to provide a moral lead to the rest of the free world. "Across the USA, thousands are victims of human rights violations," said Pierre Sane, Amnesty's international secretary-general. "Too often, human rights in the USA are a tale of two nations. Rich and poor, white and black, male and female." In particular, Amnesty concentrated on the penal system, where, it claims, the breakdown in basic human rights has led to atrocities more commonly associated with authoritarian third world regimes. The massive increase in the prison population - it has trebled to 1.7 million in the past 18 years - has put the system under tremendous strain, resulting in a shift "away from rehabilitation towards... incapacitation and punishment". Overcrowding and a lack of central control have also provided prison staff with opportunities to exploit inmates, especially women. The report cites two recent examples: the Department of Justice sued Arizona and Michigan states for failing to protect women from sexual assaults and "prurient viewing during dressing, showering and use of toilet facilities". And earlier this year, the Federal Bureau of Prisons paid =A3300,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by three women who claimed they had been beaten, raped and sold by guards for sex with male inmates at a federal prison in California. The indiscriminate use of leg irons, restraint poles, restraining chairs, and electro-shock weapons, including stun belts, stun shields and stun guns, is also alleged to be common. There were two other major areas where Amnesty said it found persistent abuses: brutality by the police and the "arbitrary, unfair and racist" use of the death penalty. The report, Rights For All, claims it has evidence that police officers regularly beat and shoot suspects who are not resisting arrest, and that there is widespread misuse of batons and chemical sprays. The victims are mostly from ethnic minority backgrounds, and the officers, who are encouraged to be aggressive, nearly always seem to get away without punishment, even when charges are brought against them. At a briefing in London, Piers Bannister, one of the researchers who compiled the 153-page report, said that racial discrimination within the police was virulent. "It makes a mockery of the slogan which many of them use, 'To Protect and Serve'," he said. Mr Bannister described how an unarmed African American, William J. Whitfield, was shot dead in a New York supermarket on Christmas Day last year when an officer mistook the keys he was carrying for a gun. After the policeman was cleared, it emerged that he had been involved with eight prior shootings, yet had not been placed on a monitoring programme. Amnesty says that black officers have complained of institutionalised discrimination, pointing out that 23 black undercover detectives have been shot by their colleagues after being mistaken for suspects. Though Amnesty has long railed against America's use of the death penalty, it claims that there has been another worrying development. The US has started to execute juvenile offenders, in clear breach of article six of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. America was one of only two countries to opt out of signing this provision of the treaty, which covers the execution of minors. Two men were killed by lethal injection in Texas this year, even though they were 17 when they committed their offences, and another 65 juveniles are on death row across the country. "Such executions are rare worldwide," the report says. "Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen are the only other countries known to have executed juvenile offenders since 1990." Amnesty makes a series of recommendations. These include provision of extra funding for the Justice Department so that it can properly implement the Police Accountability Act and provisions of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. "The USA has little room for complacency in terms of human rights, both in terms of some sectors of US society, and of the country's role in the international arena," said Mr Sane.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Lungren and Amnesty International (A list subscriber says California Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Lungren, nemesis of Proposition 215, is directly responsible for Amnesty International's attack on US human rights abuses due to his failure to lift a finger to correct the prison abuses at Corcoran and other California prisons - and urges you to write letters to mass media around the state to bring it to voters' attention.) Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 00:19:50 -0700 To: email@example.com From: R Givens (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: DPFCA: Lungren and Amnesty International Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ Dan Lungren's failure to lift a finger to correct the prison abuses at Corcoran and other California prisons is directly responsible for Amnesty International's attack on US human rights abuses. Letter writers should connect Lungren to AI's report and kick him around the block a couple of times with it. I haven't yet seen a copy of AI's original report, but rest assured that California will be prominently mentioned. A few letters blaming Lungren for this sad state of affairs is entirely in order because Lungren has played a big role in creating the situation. When Lungren talks about getting tough on crime, he means to spread Corcoran-like conditions to every prison and jail in the state. In Lungren's book getting tough on crime means allowing prison guards to behave like concentration camp jailers. Blame Lungren for covering up the crimes of the prison guards and forcing a Federal investigation that is bearing out AI's assertions. This election isn't over yet and we simply cannot afford eight years of Lungren's Reefer Madness in the Governor's mansion. Write a couple of letters to the California list today. R Givens Pacifica Tribune, email@example.com USC Daily Trojan, firstname.lastname@example.org Pasadena Weekly, email@example.com Los Gatos Weekly-Times, firstname.lastname@example.org San Francisco Bay Guardian, email@example.com Los Angeles Downtown News, firstname.lastname@example.org Ponc City News, email@example.com San Francisco Chronicle, firstname.lastname@example.org Los Altos Town Crier, email@example.com Ojai Valley News, firstname.lastname@example.org Vacaville Reporter, email@example.com Santa Rosa Press Democrat, firstname.lastname@example.org Ventura County Star, email@example.com Contra Costa County Times, firstname.lastname@example.org Palo Alto Weekly, email@example.com Press-Telegram, firstname.lastname@example.org San Diego Union Tribune, email@example.com Sacramento Bee, firstname.lastname@example.org Bay Area Reporter, email@example.com Modesto Bee, firstname.lastname@example.org UCLA Daily Bruin, email@example.com Bakersfield Californian, firstname.lastname@example.org Bakersfield Californian, email@example.com San Diego Mission Times Courier, firstname.lastname@example.org Santa Rosa Press Democrat, email@example.com Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org Union Editor, webmaster@TheUnion.com Davis Enterprise, email@example.com San Francisco Examiner, firstname.lastname@example.org Ridgecrest Daily Independent, email@example.com San Jose Metro, firstname.lastname@example.org San Jose Mercury News, email@example.com Feather River Canyon News, firstname.lastname@example.org Los Angeles Downtown News, email@example.com Saratoga News, firstname.lastname@example.org LA Times, email@example.com *** A few related articles at this site: Guarding The Truth About State Prison ('The San Jose Mercury News' Notes Campaign Discussions About The California Gubernatorial Race Are Skirting The Issue Of Brutality By Guards At Corcoran State Prison And Dan Lungren's Inability To Prosecute Anyone For It - Even As '60 Minutes' Is Planning A Piece About The 43 Inmates Who Were Wounded There And Seven Who Were Killed Between 1989 And 1995) 9/14/98 Prison Violence . . . Followed By A Pay Raise (A Staff Editorial In 'The San Jose Mercury News' Notes Prison Guards Were The Only State Workers Whom The California Governor And Legislature Deemed Worthy Of A Wage Increase This Year - Coming So Soon After Legislators Heard About The Brutality Of The Guards At Corcoran State Prison And Their Code Of Silence In Covering It Up, The 12 Percent Pay Raise Implied One More Official Sanctioning Of Bad Acts) 9/10/98 Guards Not Brought To Justice (A Letter To The Editor Of 'The Orange County Register' Blames California Governor Pete Wilson And Attorney General Dan Lungren For Not Being 'Tough On Crime' In Prosecuting Guards At Corcoran Prison For Brutality Against Inmates) 8/9/98 Witnesses Say Probe Hindered By Guards ('The San Francisco Chronicle' Says Four California Prison Investigators Testified Yesterday Before A State Senate Hearing That They Were Blocked In Their Probe Of Guard Brutality Against Inmates And A Subsequent Coverup Alleged At San Joaquin Valley Prison, And Were Hampered By Inept Management And Unclear Ground Rules While Examining Allegations Of Wrongdoing At Corcoran State Prison) 8/4/98 Criminal Justice - Hoary Stories From California's State Prisons (An Editorial By John Jacobs, Political Editor Of McClatchy Newspapers, In 'The Orange County Register,' Says The Details That Have Emerged About Guard's Actions Against Inmates At Corcoran Prison Are Too Outrageous To Ignore - The Ultimate Question Is Whether The Wilson Administration, And To A Lesser Extent Attorney General Dan Lungren, Covered Up Or Whitewashed Allegations Of Serious Wrongdoing In The Department Of Corrections) 8/2/98 Ex-Prison Officers Say State Ignored Charges ('The Los Angeles Times' Says Two Former Supervisors And A Former Guard At Corcoran State Prison Told A Legislative Hearing Wednesday That Their Attempts To Draw Attention To Questionable Inmate Shooting Deaths By Guards Were Ignored At The Highest Levels Of The California Department Of Corrections, As Well As By An Unnamed Official In The Wilson Administration Who Sounds A Lot Like Attorney General Dan Lungren) 7/30/98 Ex-Guard Tells Of Brutality, Code Of Silence At Corcoran ('The Los Angeles Times' Says The Conscience Of Former Corcoran State Prison Guard Roscoe Pondexter Has Reawakened And He Has Decided To Expose Corcoran's Brutality, Talking To 'The Times' And Testifying Before A Federal Grand Jury, Pointing The Finger Not Only At Himself But At Those Above Him Who He Says Sanctioned The Systematic Brutality, Including Encouraging Inmates Who Were Sexual Predators To Rape Other Inmates) 7/6/98 Was Prison Probe A Whitewash? ('The San Francisco Examiner' Suggests California Governor Pete Wilson And Attorney General Dan Lungren, Arch Enemies Of Medical Marijuana, Improperly Stymied An Investigation Into Murders And Other Crimes By Guards At Corcoran State Prison) 7/4/98 Who Guards The Guards? (Staff Editorial In 'The Orange County Register' Discusses A New Report From The California Department Of Corrections About Brutality Against Prisoners At Corcoran State Prison, Noting The Report Concludes That Management At Corcoran 'Engaged In Selective Coverup Of Excessive Force,' And Says Charges That 'The Shroud Was Thrown Over This Investigation By Dan Lungren' Have A 'Certain Amount Of Plausibility') 6/30/98
------------------------------------------------------------------- Amnesty International Bites The Hand That Feeds It (Calgary Herald columnist Catherine Ford says the human rights group's targeting the United States jeopardizes US support against the true brutes of the world.) Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 05:03:52 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Canada: Amnesty International Bites The Hand That Feeds It Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Calgary Herald (Canada) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.calgaryherald.com/ Pubdate: October 6, 1998 Author: Catherine Ford GLOBAL FIGHT AGAINST OPPRESSION AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL BITES THE HAND THAT FEEDS IT New campaign against the United States for rights abuses ignores the real brutes of the world Amnesty International opens a world-wide, morally sound but realistically questionable year-long campaign against the United States today. It must have its own peculiar death wish, something along the lines of biting the hand that feeds it. Not that the London-based human rights watchdog is wrong in its assessment of life in the underbelly of America; but when it comes to the systemic abuses, the U.S. is a haven by comparison. Indeed, citizens of truly repressive regimes, from North Korea to Iraq to Yugoslavia are clamouring at the gates to get into the U.S., where they stand a chance of having a voice, of living free of fear and intimidation, and making a living regardless of their race, religion, gender or ethnic background. For Amnesty International to target the U.S. puts in jeopardy the continued support of that country against the true brutes of the world. Around the world are countries that routinely abuse, brutalize and torture their own citizens with little - if any - regard for the due process, international conventions or their own laws. Standing between them and complete breakdown of civilized actions - along the lines of what is evolving in Afghanistan daily - is the U.S. and its western allies who can exercise moral authority and the economic might of power, privilege and position. (By way of analogy, if you know the difference between swatting a kid on his well-padded backside and beating him senseless, you understand the problem with Amnesty's campaign: both methods of child discipline are wrong, but only one demands the immediate attention of authorities.) Why would Amnesty jeopardize its good work to take on a campaign that might do more damage than good? According to reports in the press, particularly from Terry Atlas of the Chicago Tribune, Amnesty cites widespread and persistent police brutality, `endemic' physical and sexual violence against prisoners; `racist' application of the death penalty and use of `high-tech repression tools' such as electro-shock devices and incapacitating chemical sprays. Amnesty accuses the United States of a `double-standard of criticizing human-rights abuses abroad while not doing enough to remedy those at home.' If all one looks at are the abuses, then the U.S. can be portrayed as the Great Repressor of its own citizens, a picture that will play well in regimes that could give the U.S. a lesson or two in how to stomp on protests, oppress entire categories of citizens, regardless of their behaviour, and how to celebrate brutality. For every criticism leveled by Amnesty, there are hundreds of U.S. citizens who routinely report on and complain about their country's faults. That the U.S. does not heal itself does not mean an ignorance of the abuses. If U.S. citizens remain ignorant of their country's human rights abuses, it isn't for lack of publicity or opportunity. The knowledge and the facts are there for all to see, should an American citizen wish to see it. In fact, reports quote State Department spokesman James Foley as responding to the Amnesty campaign by: 'We welcome their scrutiny..In keeping with our recognition of the universality of human rights and our openness as a democratic society, we are proud of our political and judicial systems, which we believe are the envy of the world.' They are the envy of the world. It would be easier to count the countries that honour open opposition in politics and follow a rule of law than to list the ones that routinely flout human rights, morally or legally. Amnesty's campaign may result in a heightened awareness on the part of some Americans about what goes on in their prisons or the discrimination that is routinely meted out to racial minorities. They may learn - if they don't already know - that African-American men make up a disproportionate percentage of the prison population and that their country is only one of six to execute juveniles. But it's a safe bet those who should know about these abuses already do. There are dozens of organizations and thousands of citizens working tirelessly to change the reality of life for the disadvantaged, the dispossessed and the discriminated against. The United States is an open society with a press that is the freest in the world, a political system that encourages and abets dissent and opposition, and a solid democracy with a system of checks and balances that is the envy of the world. No, it certainly isn't perfect. But in the lexicon of human rights abuses, the United States is close to the bottom of the brutality list.
------------------------------------------------------------------- New reports of children and women abused in correctional institutions - Findings from Amnesty International research trip (A news release issued by Amnesty International says a two-week research trip by Amnesty International in the United States shows that the abuse of women prisoners in particular, as highlighted in the report released today, is still continuing in many states. Specific details are provided on human rights abuses in Michigan, Illinois, California and Maine.) Date: Thu, 08 Oct 1998 12:27:51 +0000 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Peter Webster (email@example.com) Subject: USA: New reports of children and women abused in correctional institutions (AI INDEX: AMR 51/72/98 News Service 193/98) Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International AI INDEX: AMR 51/72/98 News Service 193/98 New reports of children and women abused in correctional institutions Findings from Amnesty International Research trip The findings of a two-week research trip by Amnesty International in the USA show that the abuse of women prisoners in particular as highlighted in the report released today is still continuing in many states the US. The investigation team heard from current and former women prisoners, their lawyers and relatives and prison staff about their treatment in prison including: women shackled during labor male prison officers assaulting women prisoners, touching their genitals during searches, and leering at women while they dressed or showered inadequate medical care The team also heard further reports of abuse in a juvenile detention center in Maine, which have led in the past week to calls for an independent investigation into the allegations. The researchers who visited Maine, Michigan, Illinois and California between 19 September and 2 October found that many prisoners or prison staff were afraid to complain because of intimidation or retaliation. "The message we heard over and over again was that if they complain, they suffer for it," said researcher Jo Szwarc. Many of the people interviewed asked that their names be kept confidential for this reason. Details of the investigation team's findings are: Michigan The researchers spoke by telephone with two women in prison who described the appalling experience of being pregnant while incarcerated. Both of them were taken to hospital in a belly chain and handcuffs when they were in labor in 1994 and 1996; one of them also had her legs shackled together. Her restraints were removed just before she gave birth, at the request of the doctor and after the guard who constantly attended her obtained permission from the prison. The other woman was handcuffed to the hospital bed until the doctor asked for the restraints to be removed, just before she gave birth. Both women were cuffed to their beds shortly after giving birth. Both of the women told the researchers that despite the fact that the US Justice Department investigated sexual abuse of prisoners in Michigan, and started legal action against the state, women inmates in Michigan are still sexually abused by correctional officers. They said that guards sexually assaulted women, watched them in the showers or when dressing, and touched their breasts and genitals during pat searches. The women also reported inadequate and inappropriate medical attention. Amnesty International's researchers also spoke with two guards from a women's prison, who supported the inmate's complaints. The guards said there was a pattern of sexual abuse of women prisoners, with women intimidated or punished if they complained. Amnesty International's report cites an investigation into Michigan's women's prisons by the US Justice Department, which found that inmates who complain suffer intimidation and retaliation. The inmates and guards interviewed by the researchers said that reprisals continue and that both inmates and staff have been threatened and victimized. One guard said she was harassed after she complained about the abuse meted out by other guards and was savagely beaten and slashed by an unknown person within the prison, in an area that is out of bounds to prisoners. Deborah LaBelle, a Michigan lawyer, has recently filed suit to seek the protection of the courts for inmates who have complained about incidents at the prison. Illinois In Chicago, the researchers met with three women who had been imprisoned at the Dwight Correctional Center. They spoke of the same kinds of concerns affecting women in prison sexual abuse, inadequate medical attention for physical and mental health problems, the cruel use of restraints on pregnant and sick women and reprisals against people who dare to complain. One woman, who was released on parole this year, said that she had been shackled to her bed for the entire time that she was undergoing surgery in hospital, even while unconscious under full anesthetic and despite the fact that she was constantly attended by an armed guard. She said: "When you go to prison all your rights have been taken away. You are given horseshit and you have to swallow it." Another woman told Amnesty International that earlier this year a guard broke a female inmate's jaw and the victim was immediately transferred to another facility. She said that prison staff then turned off the prisoners' telephone system so no one could report the incident to the outside world. "We were in 'the Twilight Zone'," she said. California The researchers visited California to prepare for a future investigative visit to Valley State Prison for Women at Chowchilla -- part of the largest women's prison complex in the world. Both inmates and a former staff member contacted Amnesty International earlier this year complaining of sexual and physical abuse, intimidation and poor medical attention. In the letter from the inmates, they said that "we are in need of adequate medical care, that we don't like to be pawed by male correctional officers under the pretense of being pat searched, which is really being stroked and caress searched". They also stated that complaints about abuse or harassment by prison guards are routinely denied "the appeal is sent back to you unanswered, but the harassment will continue". The letter from a former Valley State Prison staff member describes sexual, legal and other abuse in the prison, and concludes with the view that the prison is run in an "illegal, harsh and thug like manner". During the recent visit to California, the investigation team met with lawyers representing women in California's state prisons, prison visitors, and a psychiatrist. The researchers also attended a conference about prison issues Critical Resistance Conference where they talked to many people who had been imprisoned. The complaints about Valley State Prison for Women relate mainly to the prison's "Special Housing Unit" where inmates are locked in their cells for 23 hours a day without work or education. Amnesty International's report expresses considerable concern about such facilities, which are proliferating throughout the USA within prisons and sometimes as prisons in their own right the so-called "supermaximum" facilities. A California psychiatrist who has investigated these prisons told Amnesty International that the harsh conditions can induce psychosis and visitors to the facility described women "losing their minds" because of their treatment. A lawyer reported that one woman had her stay in the Unit constantly extended because she covered a slot in her cell door when using the toilet, in breach of the rules. The repeated punishment of her desire for a little privacy had broken her, and now on occasion she stands naked and shouts for attention. Maine In its report, Amnesty International calls for a review of the use of restraint chairs in prisons and jails, based on extensive evidence of its abuse. The use of the restraint chair and other forms of restraints in cruel, inhuman or degrading ways was one of the issues investigated by the team in Maine. The researchers investigated reports of these and other violations against children at the Maine Youth Center in South Portland. Amnesty International had already informed the Maine authorities that it had received complaints including the cruel use of restraints, unnecessary and excessive force by staff and placing children in solitary confinement for extended periods, and had urged the Governor to establish an independent investigation. In response, Amnesty International had been told that its information was inaccurate and out of date so it decided to investigate further. A researcher interviewed staff, parents of children currently in the Youth Center, and children who had recently been released from the facility. They confirmed that there were continuing grounds for concern about the treatment of children. Disturbingly, some parents insisted on anonymity because they said staff had warned them against complaining. Staff who spoke to Amnesty International also did so on a confidential basis, afraid of repercussions. In the last week, Amnesty International's concerns about abuses at the Center were dramatically supported by the revelation of a recent memorandum by a staff member that documented children being placed in the restraint chair for as long as 17 hours. Maine legislators publicly called for an independent inquiry and several days ago the state Department of Corrections announced that it would ask an external body to review its disciplinary procedures. ...END *** You may repost this message onto other sources provided the main text is not altered in any way and both the header crediting Amnesty International and this footer remain intact. Only the list subscription message may be removed. *** To subscribe to amnesty-L, send a message to (firstname.lastname@example.org) with "subscribe amnesty-L" in the message body. To unsubscribe, send a message to (email@example.com) with "unsubscribe amnesty-L" in the message body. If you have problem signing off, contact (owner-amnesty-L@oil.ca)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Saving The Children (According to a Reuters article in The Winnipeg Free Press, an unspecified private children's rights group in Honduras said yesterday it is sending experts to Canada to help about 200 Honduran children allegedly being used to sell cocaine for drug gangs.) Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 19:01:06 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Saving The Children Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Chris Buors (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Tue, 06 Oct 1998 Source: Winnipeg Free Press (Canada) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.mbnet.mb.ca/freepress/ Section: B1 SAVING THE CHILDREN (Reuters) - Tegucigalpa Honduras - A private children's rights group said yesterday it is sending experts to Canada to help about 200 Honduran children it said are being used to sell cocaine for drug gangs. "These children cannot continue to be exploited" a spokeswoman for the group said. "We have to save them and identify those responsible for for trafficking them and using them in Canada."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Transcript - NewsHour Interview with Colombian President Andres Pastrana (Charles Krause of PBS's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer interviews the former television journalist and mayor of Bogota who was a teenager when his father was president of Colombia.) Date: Thu, 8 Oct 1998 21:36:28 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Colombia: Transcript: NewsHour Interview with Colombian Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: NewsHour with Jim Lehrer (PBS) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/ Pubdate: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 Note: Headline by MAP Editor ANDRES PASTRANA In a Newsmaker interview, Charles Krause talks with Andres Pastrana, the new president of Columbia, about efforts to bring peace to the South American nation. CHARLES KRAUSE: Andres Pastrana was elected Colombia's president last June, after a hard-fought campaign that turned on three central issues: The first issue -- how to end 30 years of a deadly insurgency that's left nearly half of Colombia in the hands of leftist guerrillas; the second issue -- how to reduce the power of Colombia's drug cartels, which supply 80 percent of the cocaine consumed in the United States and have bought protection by corrupting Colombia's government; and finally, Pastrana's promise to reactivate Colombia's depressed economy. A platform of change. A former television journalist and mayor of Bogota, the new president was born into Colombia's economic and political elite. Now 44, his father was Colombia's president when he was a teenager. Yet Andres Pastrana campaigned as a good-government reformer and has demonstrated since his election that he's prepared to take risks to carry out his program. In July, shortly after the election, Pastrana met at a jungle hideout with the leaders of Colombia's largest guerrilla group, the FARC. It was an unprecedented meeting that resulted in a pledge by both sides to begin formal peace negotiations before the end of the year. While still president-elect, he also traveled to Washington for talks with President Clinton at White House. The meeting was intended as another clear signal that the United States is pleased Pastrana won the election. Pastrana was inaugurated in August, succeeding Colombia's outgoing president Ernesto Samper, whose years in office were badly tarnished by allegations that he'd accepted campaign money from Colombia's drug cartels. Samper denied those charges, but the U.S. didn't believe him. It imposed economic sanctions on Colombia, after finding that Samper's government was not a reliable partner in the fight against drugs. At the heart of the U.S. anti-drug program in Colombia is aerial eradication --- spraying coca and poppy fields to reduce the supply of raw cocaine and heroin. But many of the fields are located in guerrilla-controlled territory -- and the guerrillas have opposed the spraying efforts in part because they receive money from the drug traffickers. Pastrana has promised the U.S. his full cooperation on the drug issue. But he's also made clear that his first priority is to restore peace to Colombia by ending the guerrilla insurgency -- which has intensified in recent months. We interviewed Pastrana last month, shortly before he addressed the United Nations in New York. CHARLES KRAUSE: Mr. President, thank you very much for joining us. Do you share the concern of military and intelligence analysts who say that if something is not done quickly, Colombia could be overtaken by the guerrillas and the drug traffickers within three to five years? PRESIDENT ANDRES PASTRANA, Colombia: Definitely. I don't - I don't share that point of view. We know that we've been having problems with the guerrilla movements in Colombia for the last 40 years. They have not increased as people sometimes think about. I think right now we should have - you know, the guerrilla movement's nearly 20,000 men. But at the same time, that's why they're working very hard and looking forward to achieving a peace process in the next four years. CHARLES KRAUSE: How difficult will it be for you to reach an agreement with the guerrillas? The search for peace. PRESIDENT ANDRES PASTRANA: Making peace is not easy. Peace has a lot of enemies, even inside of our country. But I think that for the first time the FARC - for some people it's 85 percent of the guerrilla movement in Colombia - for others it's 75 percent, is the largest group, is the largest guerrilla movement. I met with them. And we agree that the first 90 days of my government, we will sit at the table of negotiations, or we will find out the strategy to sit at the table of negotiations. We are almost 50 days from that. The second step will be sitting - really, really sitting at the table of negotiations. They will appoint their speakers in the table of negotiations. My government would appoint also the speakers and people are going to be in charge of managing the peace process, so we may said that we are almost at 90 days to sit at the negotiations with the FARC. So I think that - I'm positive - I think that for the first time we have seen it - a will, the interest, the insurgents, to sit in the table of negotiations. CHARLES KRAUSE: At the same time there are paramilitary groups - right wing paramilitary groups, who are said to be organized by and connected to the army. How are you going to deal with it now? PRESIDENT ANDRES PASTRANA: First of all, fighting them. We are putting a lot of pressure to the army to fight the paramilitary groups. I've said very clear that they have to go into the law, respect the law, respect the constitution, but we'll put in all our efforts to end the paramilitary groups in Colombia. I've said that there are going to be two tables of negotiations, one of the guerrilla and the other with the paramilitary, never mixed them. So my purpose at this moment is seeing the guerrilla to try to achieve piece and at the same time putting all the efforts of the army to eradicate the paramilitary groups. And when we started the process with the guerrilla, I think it is the time to start the process with the paramilitary. CHARLES KRAUSE: Now you've talked about trying to or continue to eradicate coca crops and other crops in the rural parts of the country. How do you propose to deal with the drug cartels, with the manufacture and export of drugs? PRESIDENT ANDRES PASTRANA: The same strategy that we've done in the last years. We will keep our eradication program, fumigation program, the eradication of - in Colombia but at the same time why don't we try for the first time a different approach to try to eradicate these illicit crops. CHARLES KRAUSE: And yet it is said that the guerrillas and the drug dealers have an alliance and that the guerrillas are not going to allow the eradication to continue and at the same time agree to a cease-fire with government. Working with guerrillas and drug dealers. PRESIDENT ANDRES PASTRANA: You remember that I met with the guerrilla leaders in the middle of the jungle of Colombia and they gave me ten points. One of them was the eradication of illicit crops. CHARLES KRAUSE: Did they approve of that? PRESIDENT ANDRES PASTRANA: Oh, yes, and they said to me, look, give us money, and we will eradicate the crops, or do it with the government so we're working in what I have called type - type of is not the word but it's type of like a Marshall Plan - alternative development in these areas where you have illicit crops and also guerrilla presence, so that's why we are creating a new fund to invest in what, in infrastructure, invest in agri-industry, invest in generating new employment, investing in social investment, in education, and water supply, and we hope to get nearly six hundred to eight hundred million dollars to be invested in this type of Marshall Plan. So that's why we are asking the international cooperation that if we have funds, we are going to eradicate the drug problem of Colombia. CHARLES KRAUSE: Has the United States agreed to contribute to that fund? PRESIDENT ANDRES PASTRANA: Yes, yes. In our first meeting with President Clinton the 3rd of August, when I was only elected president of Colombia, proposed the development of this alternative development of these areas through the AID. We started a new program, a very small amount of money at this moment, but it's the will of the government. It's so the government has shown that they want to work with us, they gave us nearly $1/2 million for this first step, and we're looking forward to get more money and cooperation from the United States. CHARLES KRAUSE: Do you think the United States needs to do more to stop drugs entering this country? PRESIDENT ANDRES PASTRANA: Definitely. The U.S. needs to do a bigger, very bigger effort to control the demand in the United States and I think that's something that the U.S. Government is starting to do - creating the consciousness that it's not only looking into the policing aspect of the problem, repression, I think that for the first time there's a lot of new investment in creating the culture of prevention and education of the young kids going into drugs, and I think that's one of the purposes of the U.S. Government. CHARLES KRAUSE: And finally, Mr. President, I have been reporting from Colombia for 20 years. I knew your father. I used to talk with him when I was in Bogota. And we were talking about exactly the same issues then as we are talking about today, the drug dealers, the drug traffickers, the guerrillas, property, the problems of security and all the rest in Colombia. What makes you think that you will be able to do what your five predecessors since then have been unable to do, which is bring peace to Colombia? A commitment to peace. PRESIDENT ANDRES PASTRANA: I think first were the guerrillas. I think that for the first time the meeting we had in the middle of the jungle of Colombia showed the will of them to go into a peace process. You have more commitment of the people of Colombia. You remember in the past elections, on October 12th, ten million Colombians vote for a mandate for peace for the new government. The church is involved in the peace process. The labor unions are involved in the peace process. The parties is involved in the peace process, the private sector, so I think now, Colombia, you have a complete new environment regarding peace, and I think everybody's willing to do something to bring peace to my country. Second, regarding drug lords, I think that we will put all the efforts to try to really eradicate these problems from Colombia and from the world, but we need the international cooperation. CHARLES KRAUSE: Mr. President, thank you very much for joining us. Copyright 1998 MacNeil-Lehrer Productions. All Rights Reserved. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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