The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 5, 1976 · Page 53
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December 5, 1976

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 53

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Sunday, December 5, 1976
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Page 53
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Palm Beach Pest-Times, Sunday, December 5, 1976-D3 Your Favorite CHRISTMAS CAROLS 8-trackTape Our Reg. Price $4.99 Just $2.99 With any $10. Purchase ORDER YOUR POINSETTIAS AND BEAUTIFUL, LIVE CHRISTMAS PLANTS NOW. Wire Service Available ' v5X. m distinctive and original designs in Martha Musgrove A Tenseness on Death Row trees and decorative accessories. Now offering new conveniences for our shoppers. Plantscaping, flower arranging (live and artificial) hanging baskets, macrame's, and new accessories for every holiday. Custom designed Christmas trees, total coordinated plan for your home or business, leasing and rental service available, and storage if needed. Also now catering parties (home or commercial) accompanied by a complete decorating plan, commercial indoor and outdoor Christmas decorations and wire service. Creators of the world famous Christmas display at The National Enquirer. and the execution was stayed until its conclusion. Askew simply proposed his signature necessary for any grant of clemency be a final act. The suggested rules calling for the Probation and Parole Commission to investigate, .hold hearings and make a recommendation, allowing attorneys a chance to make oral arguments and providing 10 days for Cabinet members to mull over their decisions. The rules build in a three- to six-month delay between the time the courts finalize a conviction and the time an execution could take place. That delay and the governor's strong religious beliefs have given rise to loose speculation that Askew is dragging his feet in the hopes he will not have to sign a death warrant. But even Atty. Gen. Robert Shevin, who has been one of the Christmas wiih dorbe state's strongest advocates of the death penalty and looked somewhat askance at the initial rules, describes them as "very NEW HOURS: Monday thru Friday 10 AM to 9 PM; Saturday 10 AM to 7 PM; Sunday 11 AM to 6 PM 410 Clematis Street (across from Burdine's), West Palm Beach 659-7255 and 421-2660 TALLAHASSEE - Gary Gil-more's shadow hangs heavy over Raiford, where after four months of silence Death Row inmates again are beating their drums and pleading for public sympathy. Gilmore is the Utah convict who blew out a man's brains in the course of a robbery and wants to die for it despite the efforts to keep him alive. "I hope people don't think Gilmore is normal so far as Death Row inmates are concerned," Robert Sullivan told a Jacksonville reporter last week. Sullivan, 26, has spent four years on Raiford's Death Row for the fatal shooting of his former boss in a holdup. His court appeals have all been heard and he could be the first to die in the new straps of Florida's old electric chair. "There is real fear here," he added. "I don't think anybody wants to die." There are hopes, too. Hopes that Florida's death penalty, under attack by the Florida Council of Churches and Citizens Against the Death Penalty, will be abolished. But the bills filed by Sen. Jack Gordon (D-Miami) to abolish capital punishment and by Rep. Gwen Cherry (D-Miami) to commute the sentences of those now on Death Row are given little chance of passage; they may not even get a hearing. If by some quirk they do pass, Gov. Reubin Askew has said flatly he will veto them. Even Freddie Pitts, pardoned along with Wilbert Lee after two trials and 12 years on Death Row in a killing another man admits, conceded there isn't much chance of abolishing the death penalty "until they execute a man and find out later he was innocent." Pitts says he knows eight people convicted of murder since 1959 who later were proven to be innocent. None was executed, but with the death penalty reinstated there may be such a "mistake." So Gilmore's shadow hangs heavy not just over Raiford, but over the 1m Board of Pardons, another name for the Cabinet, which meets Wednesday to decide how to handle clemency. Florida hasn't faced the problem in a long time. The state hasn't executed anyone since 1964, and then-Gov. Farris Bryant describes his signing of that death warrant a "soul-searching experience." His predecessor, LeRoy Collins, opposed capital punishment and simply refused to sign death warrants. There is no member of the pardons board who professes today to oppose the death penalty all but Treasurer Bill Gunter either voted for it as legislators or lined up in support of it during the controversial Pitts-Lee pardon proceedings. Askew, who calls the new law "much fairer" than the old, carefully points out limitations of the new law remove much of the bias which led to discrimination against blacks. A substantial majority of those on Death Row are white and only two are convicted of rape. Repeatedly the governor has stated "It is my intention to fulfill my obligation and sign the warrants." But Askew also has proposed and apparently won an agreement for a significant change in clemency procedures. Those convicted by the courts automatically are to be considered for clemency. Heretofore, the signing of a death warrant triggered a clemency proceeding 20 off allourvertical blinds. The greatest thing to happen to windows and room decor in years. Choose from an incredible array of colors to add a touch of new drama to your home. Side or center draw. Sale prices effective thru Saturday. Shevin has the statutory power to force the issuance of death warrants, but a lot of behind-the-scenes manuevering and conferences has resulted in a compromise which leaves only two issues in dispute: Should the parole commission make any recommendations and should an inmate be able to terminate the clemency process, as Gilmore tried and failed to do. The latter has been relegated to "discussion" Shevin will bring it up but not push it. The former will be debated. Askew feels strongly that the commission should offer a recommendation. Shevin feels equally strongly that any such recommendation would become "de facto binding" and "persuasive." Clemency, Shevin says, is a matter to be left to the discretion of the governor and Cabinet alone. Whatever the outcome, the debate is unlikely to delay enactment of the rules. And immediately upon enactment, according to Askew's clemency adviser, Eleanor Mitchell, the governor is prepared to turn over to the commission for terminal investigations his files on six men whose convictions and sentences have been upheld by the courts. The files include that of Learie Leo Alford convicted of the brutal rape-murder of a 13-year-old West Palm Beach girl. 1 ! ! ! ! LU : ! ' w 20 off all our custom woven woods. Crisp, uncluttered looks perfectly suited to contemporary rooms. Versatile, too; use them as room dividers. Dozens of colors and combinations to choose from. Jailers at Raiford say fear has swept Death Row because inmates have been assured by their lawyers they will not die. "They can't understand why Shevin keeps saying it will be six months when their attorneys tell them it will be two or three years," Phil Rossi, Death Row classification officer, observed Indeed, it is ironic that it took Gary Gilmore finally to restore a grim sense of reality to Raiford's Death Row. Robert Shevin . . . supports rules Martha Musgrove Is The Post's Tallahassee bureau chief. Gov. Askew , . to sign warrants Our Temperature's at the Top Lois Wilson M r2 1 H 3 j? w ' - - J t.rj , - vfc i p i ftj tzt :;i fp I mm M The Listening Post 20 off all our custom shutters. Perfect in any room setting. Made to your window measurements with fabric inserts or louvered slats. Paint, stain, or leave natural. We install them, too. For Custom Decorating service, call us: Woitland 8J3-9880 Dadoland 666-1911 163rd. St 947-8636 Hollywood 966-4000 Ft. LaudordaU 563-9809 Pompano 946-1600 Woit Palm Boach 683-5710 We get calls and letters from people who wonder why we don't run the local temperature in our listings. We do, only it isn't down with the other Florida temperatures as some expect. It is above the charts, next to the weather map and runs every day. The heading is Area Data. There will also be found the pollution count. This was left out of Thursday's North section: The annual awards banquet of the North County Tennis Association will be held Friday, Dec. 10, starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn on Highway A1A in Jupiter. Dinner will be followed by a short business meeting, prizes and awarding of trophies. Cost is $6 per person for members and $7 for non-members. Please send checks to treasurer Bill Howell, 707 Lakeside Drive, North Palm Beach. Deadline for reservations is Wednesday. Dec. 8. For details, call Harry Wilson at 842-1759. And why don't we run the ratings of the films on Home Box Office? A lot of the films they show are too recent to be in any of our rating books. However, we will keep a closer check and try to come up with some sort of grading for them. There was an attractive young lady on the front page of the Poster section Wednesday. She was dressed in a skirt made from a pair of jeans, illustrating a story on the Palm Beach County Extension Home Economics Council. Her name was left out of the story, but she is Lynn Redmon. If you're still wondering why the Baltimore-St. Louis and Atlanta-Los Angeles pro football games weren't on television in South Florida yesterday, it's because of a public law which prevents the showing of pro games in a 75-mile area of a college game within a 24-hour period. Since the Orange Blossom Classic was played in the Orange Bowl last night, Channels 5-7 couldn't broadcast the Baltimore game and Channel 4 couldn't show the Atlanta game. JCPfcnney The Christmas Place: (Do you have a comment, complaint or correction on something you've read in The Post? If so, call The Listening Post at 833-7411, Ext. 219, between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. From Broward County, Boca Raton and Delray Beach dial 427-2430. In the Belle Glade area call 996-5258.)

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