The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on February 6, 1968 · Page 2
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 2

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Blytheville, Arkansas
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Tuesday, February 6, 1968
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Page 2
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Blythevllle (Ark.) Courier News - Tuesday, February I, 1MB- Pag* Thm Arkansas' Prison Solution Is in a Vague Tomorrow By JOHN R. STARR Associated Press Writer LITTLE ROCK (AP) - The anachronism that is Arkansas' prison system had its roots in the' '"eye for an eye" philosophy that society ! ;owes nothing except punishment'to the person who offends it. From this concept retribution an'd not rehabilitation became the watchword of penology in a Bible-belt state which beard succession of governors boast about-prisons which supported themselves from farming operations. "•' .!'•-.•.".) :- ' - , . When an Arkansas judge sentences :'•«; felbh'ttb a ! term at •hard labor,- he, knows his man-, date will! ;be carried out. , Eroin dawn until dark, Arkansas' :i;600 convicts toil .in the.fields on two prison farms, producing .cotton, soybeans and rice for sale and truck crops for prison consumption. And until Thomas 0; Murton ; became .prison superintendent Jan. t, they worked under the : threat of beatings .with a wick- ed leather strap' if they failed to meet some .vague work quota or otherwise offended the 1 tough trusty convicts who ••with a handful of paid wardens supervised1 them". > The -, discovery last week of .three; -; skeietohs: in unmarked graves at Cummins Prison Farm climaxed two years of 'revelations .about brutal prison conditions that have shocked the state, the nation and the world. . . Reuben Johnson, a 59-year- old semitriisty who has spent most of the last 30 years in prison, led. Murton to the graves and he told a grisly story.about murder and secret burial of convicts in the 1940s. Reverberations from the burly Negro's account shook the ;capital and brought.demands of a fuhVscale investigation both from Republican Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller and members of the•>•:legislature where Democrats -outnumber Republicans 132-3. ' Not even statements from former -prison; -"officials who claimed that Johnson had led Murton to an abandoned cemetery .for unclaimed bodies of convicts who died of natural causes could step the indignation of a state which has seen charges of prison brutality turn from fairy tale to fact. Arkansans have been gen- .erally aware through the years that life in their prisons was harsh, but no one seemed to be aware that" conditions had de- terioriated to a point where Austin MacCormick, a prison consultant from New York, described the Tucker Prison Farm as a "chamber of horrors." Tucker is a 4,500-acre facility on the edge of the fertile Grand Prairie, 30 miles southeast of Little Rock. It was established in 1916 as a place of incarceration for youthful, white convicts. Its present pop- The main prison is Cummins Farm, established in 1902 when Arkansas tore down its walled prison at Little Rock to make way for a new state capitol. Cummins, which has 15,000 acres and about 1,300 inmates, is -adjacent to the Arkansas River in Arkansas' rich Delta. The first public outcry against prison conditions in recent .years came late in 1964 .when Supt. Dan D. Stephens admitted publicly for the first time that unruly convicts ;and convicts who refused to work were whipped with a five-foot leather strap called "The Hide" by the men to whom it was applied. The admission came after convict Winston Talley : filed a suit in U.S. District Court alleging that he had been 'whipped 75 times in a two-year period at Tucker Prison Farm. ; -Newsmen telephoned Stephens, a rotund, genial lawyer assigned by former Gov; Orval E. Faubus to take over the prisons when veteran Supt Lee Henslee retired in '1963. Sure, Stephens said, convicts wen whipped "with a leath strap like my daddy used to whip me with." He said corporal punishment was the only means of controlling recalcitrant inmates in a prison without solitary confinement facilities. Stephens' frankness eventually cost him his job, but it was a job that be had taken more to please Faubus than became be' 'wanted it."' ........ .......... "". Hemlee, • veteran of more than SO years in the prison system, bad ruled toe prison with an iron hand during 14 years as superintendent, and it was said that no one except he could control 1,600 criminals in a prison .without walls. Faubus needed someone he could trust, and he turned to Stephens, whom he had kept in one key administration job or another for 10 years. Stephens had some experience .with crime as a prosecuting attorney in a rural district -in North Arkansas, but he confessed he was not a pehologist. Murton moved his headquarters from Tucker to Cummins, and he was barely settled in when he moved to check out Some Job Expenses Are Tax Deductible By the nature of tfieir. employment some workers have iout.- of • pocket expenses dur- "I'll do the best I can," he j ing the year in connection with said, and, in his first years as-their, job that.are:properly de- superintendent, he organized ajductible on their income tax re- prison band which played public engagements around Arkansas, he built baseball diamonds, he organized boxing turns. : If such expenses are. reimbursed to you through an expense -account and you account matches and he helped convicts I to your employer you* ; have a who felt they-had been improp-! stand-off — nothing to report imprisoned erly i improp- write writs ' anti nothing to deduct. seeking their release: He put together a panel of four of his brighter convicts and took them before..civic clubs and audiences to warn of the consequences of wayward and misdirected lives. More than 300 prisoners wrote Faubus when Stephens resigned late in 1965 urging him to make Stephens change his mind,'but Stephens stuck to his decision, partly because he had been criticized for refusing to abolish corporal punishment, but partly, he told friends, because veteran wardens and guards resented his efforts to humanize prison life. Stephens was replaced Jan. 1, 1966,',by. 6. E. Bishop, who had been sheriff in Union County, in South Arkansas, for 17 years. Bishop continued Stephens' programs and corporal punishment .continued because U.S. District Judge J. Smith Henley, ruling in Talley's suit, held that use of the lash was not cruel and unusual punishment and that he could not prohibit it. ' /""' " ' * *• ' * Then in August 1966 "the wife of Asst. Prison Supt. Jim Bruton, a former state legislator, who had operated Tucker Prison Farm under Henslee, Stephens and Bishop, died. Bruton and the three paid wardens who worked with him took a day off for the funeral in Mor- riltoh, about 90 miles from Tucker. A warden from Cummins went to Tucker to supervise in their absence. When he returned . to Cummins, he told Bishop a story that resulted in a State Police investigation of conditions at Tucker. Before the State Police report, which told of beatings, torture with an electrical d&* vice, extortion, and traffic in drugs, liquor and, sex, Bruton resigned and his three wardens were fired. , The outcry resulting from the State Police investigation was one of many factors in the elec- 3on of Rockefeller as Arkansas' first Republican governor in 92 years/Rockefeller called during the campaign for, operation of the prisons by professional penologists, and he pushed through the 1967 legislature a bill setting up a comprehensive study of the system. Then Rockefeller deposed Pink Booher, a deputy sheriff who had replaced Bruton as the man in charge at Tucker, and imported Murton, an experienced penologist who was teaching criminology at Southern Illinois University. Murton abolished the lash at Tucker, watered down the authority of convict guards and began replacing them with paid personnel. But his policies brought him into frequent conflict with Bishop and the state Penitentiary Board, which supervises prison operations. It soon became apparent that either Bishop or Murton had to go. : Although Rockefeller chided Murton for feuding with Bishop, he took Murton's side in the argument "and Bishop submitted bis resignation. .'•;_';* * .'*. .' " ' ; Rockefeller nominated Murton to succeed him, but the Prison Board refused to appoint Murton. However, the board was powerless to keep Murton, the second in command, from becoming acting superintendent when Bishop's resignation became effective Jan. l, and three board mem- ben promptly resigned, allowing Rockefeller to name replacements for them, and the reconstituted board quickly gave Murton the title of toper- Iflttndnt But if your expenses are not covered by your employer or if your reimbursement is only in part, this is the opportunity to get full credit. Some of these items are properly claimed as "business expenses" on your return and ottiers may be claimed itemize deductions on your re- only as "miscellaneous deduc- turn, tions" if you are itemizing de-| instead of breaking down your cut your own taxes . by Ray DeCrane ductions on your return. The distinction depends upon your work and whether you were reimbursed.' So.- called outside salesmen, those whose principal job is selling on the road and away from the office — may deduct a s business expenses all of their ordinary and necessary business expenses for which they were not reimbursed. This might include;all auto expenses; taxi charges; railroad plane and steamship fares; cost of lodging and meals while away from home at least overnight; tips; baggage charges; laundry expense while in a travel status; secretarial help; telephone and telegraph charges gifts to customers and prospects up to a yearly limit of $25 each; land all ordinary and necessary If you do not qualify as an outside salesman you can claim as a Part 111 business deduction on your return only your necessary transportation and travel expenses. All other unreimburs- ed expenses must be claimed as a miscellaneous deduction if you a u t o • expenses to determine your deduction you may claim a flat deduction of 10 cents for each of. the/ first 15,000 business miles driven and seven cents for each mile thereafter. A moving expense deduction may be claimed,: if you were transferred to another city by your employer- or moved be cause you changed jobs. You must have expenses for which you were hot reimbursed and failure to : move . would have meant an additional 20, miles or more each way in getting to work. ... '. .; '...,.' . You must be employed in new area- for 39 of the following 52 weeks. : The deduction includes the actual cost of moving your household goods in addition t o transportation, lodging and 'meals en route to your new location for you and your family- Either attach a statement to your return detailing these expenses or complete Form 3903 which is available from : ISR for convict rumors about sudden death and secret burials and was led by Johnson to the graveyard. Those who had looked to Murton as the salvation of. the prison system were disappointed to learn, as stories about finding of the bodies were being Circulated, that Murton had threatened to resign what he called "this stinking job." Insiders said Murton's action resulted from a feud with John Haley, the Rockefeller-appoint ed chairman ef the Prison Board, and Bob Scott, the governor's aide for prison affairs, who disagreed with some of Murton's ideas for reshaping the prisons. Rockefeller and Murton met Thursday and held a joint news conference afterward. Newsmen covering the meeting said relations between the two men seemed .strained. Sources close to Rockefeller said the governor was irked because Murton finding the bodies before an Investigation could determine whether they came from a pauper's graveyard or a burial ground for murdered convicts. • * * Questioned about Murton's threat to resign, they said that Murton would meet with the Prison Board Wednesday and the matter probably would be resolved then. Regardless of Murton's fate, the Arkansas Legislature, had told news media about | which met in special session Astrological * Forecast * By CARROLL RIGHTER-—-^ ffo determine your forecast, nute paragraph opposite dates whicb include vour birtb dat* WEDNESDAY GENERAL TENDENCIES: Until midafternoon poor judgment is apt to be expressed by most everyone ana it is wise to doublecheck whatever you plan to do before putting in motion. However, the later afternoon and evening find you inventive and able to make some real McNaught S;i»ncate iff. Don't risk losing civic or bigwig support or reputation by doing something foolish today. Make .sure that you improve credit. Get your bills paid as fast as you CAH and in full where possible. LIBRA (Sept. 23 to Oct. 22) Take more time to look into the worth of that new outlet and then act in a positive fashion very heartening and delightful as well. Be diplomatic. IF YOUR CHILD IS BORN TODAY ... he, or she will be one of those very high - strung youngsters, so that it behooves you to give attention early to he right diet and have a har-j nonious atmosphere at home. The selling field is best in this chart, especially where New Era products ideas are concerned. There is the ability to think logically here. ana ame to mare some rea. jn pM Hand , e that ^ nal progress toward your cherished and cha iieneine matter very and longtime ambitions. ARIES (Mar. 21 to Apr. 19) You may find it difficult to do your work well during the day, but P.M. is fine for such. Then tell co-workers of some plan you have in mind that will increase production, profits. Be 'explicit. TAURUS (Apr. 20 to May 20) Better be economical where pleasure is concerned and concentrate upon how to increase your present i n c o m e. Make right arrangements for such. Be practical and sure to protect present holdings. • GEMINI (May 21 to June 21) Keep yourself busy at home and avoid nagging on either this purpose. (NEXT, Listing . . .dividends "CUT YOUR OWN TAXES" e/o Blytheville Courier News Dept 733 P. O. Box 489 Radio City Station New York, N. Y. 10019 Please send copy (copies) of CUT YOUR OWN TAXES at 50 cents each 'o: {and challenging matter very wisely. Study it well.first, then proceed. .... SCORPIO (Oct. 23 to Nov. 21) This is a good day to get your bills paid and stop procrastinating about them. Then a partner will be 'better impressed. That misunderstanding you have with mate-can be adjusted properly in the;evening. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22 to Dec. 21) During the day an associate can-be somewhat forceful with : you, but this is because more profits are necessary. .Tonight you appreciate methods ; Used. Don't argue and tonight you can have dinner together, happily. NAME pleasure in the future with less to-do about it. Be clever. MOON CHILDREN (June 22 to July 21) Show partners that iyou will carry through with 'some plan they have in mind which is of a practical nature, j but which you have not -appro- '.ciated before. Avoid bringing | up moot points. Keep the har- Jmony. LEO (J u 1 y 22 to A u g. 21) Stop wasting time with some gossipy friend during the day ADDRESS CITY STATE ZIP Make checks payable to TAXES. Allow 3 weeks for delivery. today, will be asked by Rockefeller to provide-financing.for prison reform. Examination by a pathologist of the bones recovered from the unmarked graves to determine whether the men died violently, also was scheduled to begin today. And the solution to Arkansas' prison problems was in some vague tomorrow. A skilled workman In the Phil- ipines scoops out 1,400 coconut halves an hour. Eight million laborers there supply half the world's coconut products, the National Geographic says. .. Her Two-Bits Worth PORTLAND (AP) - Amy Steinback, 9, is so concerned about smog in Portland that she sent her 25 cents allowance to Gov. Tom McCall to help fight air pollution. ; . The ttiird-grader wrote, "I am •'.'.. very sorry that the air was ever .dirty. Last night it was so thick you', couldn't see the street light. The paper said that ours is thicker than New York. Here is 25 cents to help you." WANTED NOW ! Real Estate To Sell! HAVING CALLS DAILY FOR HOUSES MAY i SELL; YOURSr RAYMOND ZACHRY , 420 PARK ^ Ph. PO 3-8815 TRI °- MUS SELMAN« "World's most popular" MARTIN HOUSE U.S. Patent RE 25878 also do your best work in some time. Avoid arguing with a coworker/ Keep busily 'occupied and all is cinnamon and cream. AQUARIUS (Jan. 21 to Feb.!) 19) You are h i g h 1 y inspired about what to do to get ahead faster, but await the later afternoon before putting ideas to work. Avoid arguing with anyone during the day. Sidestep adroitly those loquacious persons. and then your social life will! PISCES (Feb. 20 to Mar. 20) •••••••••••••• be fine in P.M. Be certain; you know what your aims really are. Then go after them in a most positive fashion. VIRGO (Aug. 22 to Sept. 22) Kin cannot cooperate with you very much during the day, but will gladly do so during the P.M. Rely on your own Capabilities more. Evening can be j PURPLE MAETDf TIME IS COMING! Stop In today and register for, the drawing on a TRIO- MUSSELMAN Aluminum Martin. House that attracts martins and repels starlings. Nothing -io tuyl Ask for your free Booklet, ,W hat You Should Know About The Pvsrple Martin, excerpted from Hie famous book by J. L. Wade, the Nation'* .foremost Purple Martin authority. Be Ready for The Martins! They Arrive in Biytheville February 15 through March 1. J HUFFMAN BROS. LUMBER COMPANY N. 6th Street Phone PO 3-8123 Come on. Join the big move to Chrysler. You'll feel rich when you drive a big fulM size Chrysler Newport home. You'H be richer too. Like every time you buy regular gas instead of premium to power the big 383 cubic inch standard V-8. D And the price~.Newport actuaBy costs just a few dollars a month more than comparably ipped fords and Chevies. And that's the only thing you'll find in common. "61" MOTOR CO. • N. Highway 61, Blytheville, Ark.

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