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LOUIS DUBOSE challenges the Texas death penalty law with regard to how sentencing juries are instructed to consider the potential dangerousness of the convicted prisoner. Texas Civil Liberties Union director Gara LaMarche says that, outside of the McCleskey case, this is “the best shot we have had in recent years of affecting the status of a number of people on Death Row.” If the court strikes down the Texas statute a number of prisoners will get new trials. But even if. the Supreme Court rules against the Texas law \(and it is hard to see it will only be one more means of slowing down the executions. Those who favor the abolition of capital punishment realize that delays are ultimately not what this issue is about. Every procedural delay counts, but meanwhile society becomes more and more refined in the practice of using state power to put people to death. DD. NOW YOU SEE IT, NOW YOU DON’T The Michael Dukakis Foreign Policy BY JAMES RIDGEWAY Washington, D.C. WHILE MASSACHUSETTS Governor Michael Dukakis has a discernible track record when it comes to economic matters, his potential foreign policy remains largely unexamined. Liberal Democratic voters have been drawn to the Governor because of his clear, firm opposition to the contra war in Nicaragua and his declared humanitarian concerns. But a careful look at his positions, particularly regarding Central America, suggests there may be some distance between rhetoric and reality. Throughout the campaign Dukakis has argued that America’s foreign policy must incorporate fresh perceptions of a changing world: “Today, America is still the strongest nation on earth,” he said in a February speech at Derry, New Hampshire. “But we are no longer the only strong nation. The Soviet Union is a formidable military power. Europe and Japan and other nations on the Pacific Rim are challenging our leadership in agriculture, technology, and industry.” Dukakis has emphatically endorsed the principle of self-determination. “We have believed since the Mayflower Compact that the right of people to choose their own leaders is self-evident and universal,” he said in Minneapolis on January 28. “That was true for the Puritans in 1620, is true for the Afghanistans and the Nicaraguas and the Haitis and the South Africas of 1988.” In Latin America, Dukakis seeks’ to build “a partnership that will recall the spirit of FDR’s Good Neighbor policy and build on the best elements of JFK’s Alliance for Progress. A partnership: To restore economic development and economic opportunity. To ensure peace and security. To promote democracy and human rights. Not James Ridgeway’s column, “The Moving Target,” which appears first in The Village Voice, is a regular feature of the Observer. Michael Dukakis at LBJ School In Austin long ago, most Latin American countries were governed by military dictators. Today democratic elections have given the region its best group of leaders in at least a quarter century. Leaders like Alfonsrn in Argentina . . . Arias in Costa Rica . . . Barco in Colombia . . . Cerezo in Guatemala .. . de la Madrid in Mexico . . . Garda in Peru . . . and Sanguinetti in Uruguay. These are strong, practical, progressive democrats; they are good neighbors; and they will be good partners.” One might then suppose that Dukakis would readily support not only cessation of the U.S.-backed war against Nicaragua but an open-handed policy of economic support and increased trade both to restore the Latin American economy and help it on its way to industrialization; that he would withdraw U.S. military support from the Salvador war and move directly to normalize relations through trade and economic development with Cuba and the rest of the Caribbean. But while Dukakis, a prudent politician, THE TEXAS OBSERVER 5