after bowling, beer is a natural After you’ve bowled a game or two, or when you’re winding up the evening at the neighborhood bowling center, it’s good to relax with friends and compare scores. What better way to add to the sport and the sociableness than with a refreshing glass of beer? However you take your funskiing, skating, or at your ease in the game roombeer always makes a welcome addition to the party. Your familiar glass of beer is also a pleasurable reminder that we live in a land of personal freedomand that our right to enjoy beer and ale, if we so desire, is just one, but an important one, of those personal freedoms. In Texas … beer goes with fun, with relaiation UNITED STATES BREWERS ASSOCIATION, INC. 905 International Life Bldg., Austin 1, Texas ‘` 4e. state to get strong convictions from arrests growing out of a labor strike. Nine of the eleven white men were tried in late October, all pleading guilty to the charges. Though each could have received as a maximum the death penalty, the nine were given suspended sentences. Pike County Circuit Judge W. H. Watkins, Jr., remarked that the men were unduly provoked by outsiders of “low morality, some of them unhygienic.” Judge Watkins also pointed out that they were “mostly young; all came from good families, who were shocked at their involvement ; and deserved another chance.” Four of the nine were aged 44, 38, 36 and 35. In the meantime another wave of criminal syndicalism arrests had occurred in the Delta in Belzoni, 140 miles straight north of McComb. On October 3 seven Negroes were passing out leaflets announcing a community meeting. Police picked them up, all but one a high school student, and charged them with criminal syndicalism. Two were eventually released in care of an attorney, but the other five were bound over to a 14 The Texas Observer grand jury on $1,000 bond each and remained in jail. Then on October 15 four S.N.C.C. field secretaries were arrested for criminal syndicalism while they were walking down a street in the downtown Negro section. They had not been passing out leaflets, but each had a Freedom Democratic Party leaflet with him. The four have remained in jail. Lawyers began legal action against this law. A petition for an injunction to enjoin its enforcement has been filed in relation to the McComb arrests. A three-judge panel is to hear the petition at some future date. Attorney Carsie Hall, who asked for an injunction preventing further arrests. The legal challenge will be based largely on recent rulings in Georgia and Pennsylvania where similar, though not identical state statutes were declared unconstitutional by federal courts. A different tack is being taken in Belzoni, where petitions have been filed to have the cases moved to federal court. A subsequent suit will challenge the law’s constitutionality. Meanwhile, over twenty civil rights workers wait in Mississippi jails. Louisiana’s Chessman New Orleans, La. The last time a white man was executed for the crime of rape in Louisiana was in 1907; in its entire history, the state has executed only two whites for rapeboth, interestingly enough, were aliens. Negroes, over forty of whom have been hanged or electrocuted for rape in this century, have fared less well, though in recent years some determined legal efforts have prolonged the lives of several. Such efforts have succeeded in making Edgar Labat heir to Caryl Chessman’s role: Labat’s is the oldest pending capital case in the country. A Negro, he was an attendant at a Catholic hospital in New Orleans when in November of 1950 he and Clifton Poret were arrested for the rape of a white woman. In March of 1953 the two men were sentenced to death; their continued existence, after unsuccessful appeals to the highest courts of both state and nation, is a source of frustration to those charged with the administration of Louisiana justice. There are ironies here: since federal courts have balked at the state’s wilful failure to observe due process in the impartial selection of juries, it has been several years since the state has been able to execute a Negro. Confederate justice is all but abolishing capital punishment for Louisiana Negroes. Of the two defendants, Labat is the more articulate. He has been allowed to write and has been doing so. Five chapters of an autobiography are already finished and are being edited by a Massachusetts woman, and several of his poems have appeared in the Vineyard Gazette. But an increasing flow of letters from here and abroad where he has received more press coverage than at hometestifies to his emerging legal rather than literary prominence. He has had eight stays of execution. Describing one occasion when his reprieve came three hours before he was to die, he recounts that his sister had arrived to claim the body, his head had been shaved, and he could hear the stepped-up humming of the prison generators. To read his own letters is to wonder at his reasonableness. Now in an eight-by-ten-foot cell in Louisiana state penitentiary at Angola, Edgar Labat faces his fourteenth summer of imprisonment ; he has been on one death row or another since his conviction. His case is now being handled by Washington’s Edward Bennett Williams and, for the Louisiana Civil Liberties Union, by Benjamin E. Smith in New Orleans. “Over its lifetime of operations,” the Steven H. Rubin is a member ofthe board of directors of the Louisiana Civil Liberties Union and a member of the executive committee of the New Orleans branch of the NAACP. By profession he is a college teacher.
You May Also Like
The documentary in Falfurrias is sinister and spiritual.