life and, assuming that Mandy and Joe Dealy, Jr., produce children someday, that Mandy will always worry about the safety of her own children \(if one happens to be Wade further told the jury that Mandy’s grand-children, presuming her presumed children have children, will cause her untold worry if they should be late getting home one day. The jury deliberated 29 minutes taking only one vote and found the Ransonettes guilty. During the penalty phase of the trial, Wade told the jurors that they could give the Ransonettes anywhere from five years to 5,000. The penal code prescribes a minimum of five years for kidnapping, but sets no maximum. No one seems to know why Wade chose the figure 5,000, unless it was for the sake of alliteration. The jury took him at his word. According to jury foreman S. W. Armistead, the jury believed that 5,000 was the statutory maximum and the 5,005 figure came about because “we wanted to give them both the minimum and maximum sentence.” All this despite White’s plea to “remember the happy ending” and his contention that Woodrow was not a “hardened criminal” like his brother Franklin, the .”brains of the operation.” Armistead said that despite the 29 minutes it took to cast a single ballot and find the Ransonette brothers guilty, the jury went through “five or six” ballots during the, 15 minutes it took them to assess a sentence. Armistead said it took that many ballots because some members of the jury wanted a 1,500-year sentence which is more in line with the usual practice for noteworthy cases in Dallas County. On the fifth or sixth ballot, however, the majority prevailed and all the jurors agreed to the combination of the minimum and the “maximum”. Armistead said that if the death penalty were still with us the jury “would probably not have given them that: 5,005 should be a deterrent to others.” Both attorneys for the defendents say they will appeal the cases because of Judge Mead’s denial of severance, his denial of a change of venue and other points, including improper searches and seizures. The News coverage and the special “Mandy’s Home for Christmas” will both play their parts in the appeal proceedings. On Feb. 14 the News runs a special “personals” section of the classified ads for valentines. Among them, this year, was one in the sort of type face usually reserved for the used car bargains, from Joe M. Dealey, Jr., to his wife Mandy. It is common practice for the publisher or the editor or the managing editor of the News to send a note of congratulations to the staff after coverage of an unusually big story. “This time there was none,” said one reporter, “and it really hurt a lot of us. Not one word after we worked so hard.” Whorehouse brawl Austin The whole panoply of government and politics is involved in writing a new Texas Constitution. This is no schoolbook exercise for civics classes and the Texas League of Women Voters, this is a brawl in the whorehouses of Texas politics. When the corporate men who still control Texas decided to try to foist it on the people that the Legislature should write the new Constitution, and succeeded in doing that, they committed the fundamental offense. 12 The Texas Observer Bookkeeping & Tax Service 503 WEST 15TH, AUSTIN 78701 Orl Since 1866 The Place in Austin GOOD FOOD GOOD BEER 1607 San Jacinto 477-4171 Observations Now there is nothing to do but go down to where the fighting is and join in. The Texas Constitution prohibits public debt.. It contains numerous exceptions to this prohibition, and at specified rates of interest. There is a movement in the Legislature to make it nearly impossible, by constitutional amendment, to pass a progressive personal income tax, and that will be pushed for inclusion in the new document. The protection of the ecology, invasions of privacy, capital punishment, single member districts, the age requirements for officeholders, the welfare ceiling, garnishment of wages, the equity of the school tax property base, dedication of the two million acres of university land to UT and Texas A&M, the distribution of power between state and local governments practically every controversial issue in state affairs is thrown open and there is no going back. THE FUNDAMENTAL issue is whether we trust the people who will be writing the constitution and the process by which they are writing it. As the “Citizens’ Guide” on the subject prepared by the University of Houston Institute for Urban Studies says, “the people who draft a constitution will be vitally interested in who gets what out of the constitution.” The process that has been settled upon within the pressures successfully brought to bear by the corporate interests is readily understood. A 37-person commission this year holds hearings and writes a draft. Next year the Legislature meets and writes the constitution. The people vote yes or no in November, 1974. As every Jeffersonian knows, a constitution should be written, not by a corruption-ridden Legislature, but by an original convocation of elected representatives of the people. There should have been a special election to choose a constitutional convention. Amidst the welter of the usual kinds of candidates, a different kind of people would have offered themselves in that election people concerned not with professional politics but with fundamental things, not with ego jags but with the rights of the people. We do not have that. We have the commission and the Legislature. The commission is made up of 29 men and only eight women. As I perceive them, they include only about six liberals, and when you include the moderates, the progressive forces are outnumbered somewhere between 4-to-1 and 5-to-2. All 37 were chosen in secret by six men. Speaker Price Daniel, unsuccessfully trying to open the meetings at which the 37 were chosen so the press could watch, said, “The people don’t know what we’re doing.” Almost half, 17, of the 37 are lawyers. There are eight bankers. Fifteen are 0 OFFICE HOURS: 9 A.M. TO 5 P.M. 0 AND BY APPOINTMENT ANYTIMO
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