Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona on August 16, 1970 · Page 3
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Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona · Page 3

Phoenix, Arizona
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 16, 1970
Page 3
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REPUBLIC Many detours on road to criminal justice By WALTER W. MEEK Criminal justice in Maricopa County is not swift or sure, and punishment often doesn't fit the crime. These are conclusions resulting from a month- long investigation by Arizona Republic reporters of criminal Law vs. Crime cases being prosecuted through the county court system. The reports have disclosed dozens of examples of sloppy bail bond procedures, administrative fouAips, re- peated delays in prosecutions and plain incompetence by court personnel and the staff of Maricopa County Attorney Moise Berger. These failings help to make crime profitable, to multiply the workload and frustrations of police and to leave law-abiding citizens unprotected from professional criminals. The Republic's continuing series has focused on the cases of hard-core offenders, repeaters wjio are relatively few in number but who account for a large percentage of the county's growing crime rate, according to police spokesmen. And it's in these cases, where successful prosecution is most critical, that the system breaks down most consistently. The case-by-case probe also has disclosed that the system is infected with bickering and buck-passing. Police blame judges and justices of the peace for stalled cases, low bail placed on criminal repeaters, too easy sentences and cases that are lost or reduced to less serious offenses. Various JPs accuse Superior Court judges of ignoring society's wishes and undermining their judgment by drastically reducing bail bonds. The JPs have Wanted Berger's prosecutors for case dismissals due to slipshod work. Superior Court judges, led by Presiding Judge Charles L. Hardy, point accusingly at Berger's office, charging that he cannot keep a staff of experienced and competent lawyers working for him. For his part, Berger has charged that lenient sentencing by the judges is at the root of rising crime rates, and he declares that Maricopa County can never attain a staff of professional prosecutors until salaries are raised substantially. Virtually no one interviewed by newsmen has denied the evidence of breakdowns. And in spite of the tendency by most to pin the blame somewhere else, a handful of corrective suggestions has emerged. Here is a summary of the problems disclosed by The Republic's investigation and some of the solutions offered by various sources in and out of the court system: BAIL BOND Any real solution to the bail problem lies with the Arizona Supreme Court, the state's voters and the Arizona Legislature, in that order. The bail problem is relatively simple: The JPs and the public believe it is wrong to allow criminal repeaters to go free on bond while awaiting trial and to continue preying on society. But most lawyers and judges believe that the law guarantees the right to bond. They generally assert that the only legal purpose of bail bond is to guarantee a defendant's appearance at trial and that it cannot be denied or put out of reach in order to keep him in jail. A typical example: Continued on Page A-26 Phoenix weather Warm and humid with possible thundershowers. High 98-103, low 75-79. Yesterday's high 95, low 78. Humidity: high 67, low 39. Details, Page 28. 81st Year, No. 92 THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC Telephone: 1271-8000 R«pub«c Photo by Con Kem Youth chins himself on sturdy arm of Ken Kohlbrecher Cake replaces hatred Policemen rebuild image at local housing project By CARL TWENTIER Two hot summers and a hundred muggings ago, a beat cop in the Matthew Henson Housing Project was handed hatred. Now he's given cake and iced tea and the summers are looking cooler and shorter. In 1968, police hit the area in platoons and The Project hit back with firebombs, rocks and rifle slugs. Patrolmen now walk these streets on foot. Their major troubles concern cut fingers, broken bicycles and remembering first names. % "You can't believe how bad it was down there just two years ago," a police officer who used to patrol the area of The Project on W. Buckeye Road recalls today. Crimes, muggings, robberies and murders occurred in there and along "The Road" with almost hourly regularity. ', Police were seen in the area in force, and then only when major crime called. The rest of the time they simply stayed away. The situation had to change, one way or another. In hopes of changing it for the better, police officials, in April 1969, decided to assign a special squad of men to the area. Their, task: control the crime and win back the confidence of the people. The seven man squad, led by Sgt. Ed Hoffsrth, today patrols The Project and "Road" area on foot and in cars seven evenings a week. to some 450 families, all of them poor, and most of them black, The Project covers a 16-square-block area bounded by Seventh and llth Avenues, Buckeye Road and Grant Street. Two smaller projects on the west and the residential neighborhoods in between are also patrolled by the squad. Most nights the squad is divided into three 2-man cars. Sometimes it can man only a 3- and a 2-man car. At least one of the units must remain in a car at all times, while the others walk. Portable two-way radios with a special frequency allow the men to talk back- and-forth freely. "When we first started walking down here," said Hoffarth, 33, a policeman for 11 years, and the father of seven children, "the people wouldn't have anything to do with us. They'd seen the police come and go like this, and they really didn't expect us to stay around too long." But police did stay. And major crime which ravaged the area just 16 months ago has been controlled. Muggings and robberies, which took their toll among the poor, black resi- Continued mi Page A-J7 Phoenix, Arizona, Sunday, August 16, 1970 (Eleven Sections, a? Today's chuckle Don't worry about computers taking over our lives. If they get too powerful, we can just organize them into committees. e 35 cents 43 school districts hike taxes in county By PETER B. MANN Republic Education Writer Property tax rates are up sharply for 1970 in a majority of Maricopa County public school districts, The Arizona Republic learned yesterday. The newly computed rates, scheduled to become official with approval by the Board of Supervisors tomorrow, show increases in 43 and decreases in 12 of the 55 school districts. Thus, the upward trend that began last year continues, and it appears that tax reductions realized by property owners in 1968 will be only memories in a yjearortwo. ., In fact, 16 districts have school tax .*•* - " !" • '\ (rates that match or surpass the levels of 1967, when the legislaure hiked state aid to the schools and implemented statewide reassessment to take the squeeze off property owners. An analysis by the Republic indicates that rates are approaching 1967 levels in 18 other districts, including several ma- jqr ones in Phoenix,. Glendale, Scottsdale and Tempe. For example, the Phoenix Union High School District will have a tax rate of $2.56 for each $100 of assessed-valuation this year, up from $2.08 in 1969. Only an unexpected $38 million jump in the district's total assessed valuation kept the nate from climbing to $2.70. In 1967, the PUHS rate was $2.85. This year's largest increase — by far — will be in the Paradise Valley combined elementary and high school district. The rate there will be up $3.17, from $5.60 to $8.77. Only the newly created Fountain Hills Elementary District, east of Scottsdale, will come close to that increase, climbing from zero to $2.87. Other major rate increases will include: Chandler combined district, up $1.32 to $6.07; Mesa combined district, up $1.17 to $6.53; Scottsdale combined district, up 84 cents to $7.03. Tolleson Union High School District's rate will be up 72 cents to $3.19, and the largest increase in elementary districts will include Washington's $1.26 rise to S. Vietnamese militiamen inside take Cong command post Associated Press SAIGON - Moving by night, 5,000 South Vietnamese militiamen fell upon a sprawling Vietcong base area in the enemy-infested jungles south of Da Nang and claimed one of their biggest victories of the war yesterday. The militiamen claimed they killed 125 enemy troops, including the regional commander, and captured 25 prisoners in a coordinated series of more than 80 raids centered in the jungled foothills 25 miles south of Da Nang Friday and yesterday. It was the second major victory this week for the militia in South Vietnam's northern Military Region 1. It also was a big morale boost for U.S. officers whose Vietnamization strategy rests heavily on the still shaky belief that the militia will be able to help handle enemy forces after the Americans have left. "I've never experienced anything like this in planning, coordination and spirit," said Lt. Col. M. G. Stafford of Eagle Pass., Tex., the senior U.S. adviser. "It was a little Cambodia," he added, referring to the allied incursions last spring that knocked out enemy bases in eastern Cambodia. Associated Press correspondent Willis Johnson reported from Da Nang that the operation was masterminded by Col. Hoang Dihn Tho, chief of Quang Tin Province, who wanted to derail an expected enemy offensive in September. Copying enemy tactics, dozens of raiding parties of 5 to 15 men set out through the jungle on foot Friday at one minute after midnight, guided by Vietcong defectors, to known enemy base camps. They struck early and "caught the enemy napping," Stafford said. In the biggest action, less than 10 miles southwest of the provincial capital at Tarn Ky, a raiding party came upon what officers say was the Vietcong's command post for both Quang Tin and Quang Nam provinces. The militia opened fire just at daybreak as about 30 enemy troops sat eating breakfast. The raiders fell back be- Continued on Page A-2 EARLY PHOENIX - Some of the pictures taken by early photographers are published with an accompanying article in ARIZONA magazine. Page 8. ECONOMIC VIEW - Vice President Spiro T. Agnew vigorously denies recession talk and says we are making strides in fight against inflation, in a guest column. Page D-14. LEGAL QUANDARY— City prosecutor Ben Marshall discusses Arizona's new "Harmful Material to Minors" law in the Entertainment and Arts section. Page N-l. SEAWARD BENT-Summer playground for Arizonans is La Jolla, Calif. The glitter of the popular watering place is observed in the first of two articles in Women's Forum. Page M-l. Art Astrology Autos Books Boys and Girls Business Classified Crossword Dean Editorials Farm Page N8 B-ll D13 N9, 10 B17 D 14-18 Cl-27 B-17 Bl A6 B 16-17 Movies Obituaries Opinion Sports Square Dance Stamps Sun Living Travel TV-Radio Weather Women's Forum Page N2,3 C30 A7 Dl-12 Bll Bll Kl-16 B 13-15 N4-7 A 28 Ml-12 Former 'closer' tells of 'dirty business' By ALBERT J. SITTER Persons receiving calls from telephone pitchmen should "hang up immediately," advised a Phoenix man who operates from inside the unethical, high pressure end of home solicitation sales business. The informer, who declined to be named, "because some of my former customers might kill me," is a "closer" for a sales outfit which, he said, specializes in grossly misrepresenting its product and high pressures homeowners into paying exhorbitant prices for home improvement work. A closer, he explained, is a company agent who calls at the home after an appointment is arranged by a telephone huckster. "He's a guy," the informant said dur- ing an interview, "with more guts than Dick Tracy. Their stories (a maze of fact and fiction) are so good that you don't say no to them. They won't take no for an answer." He said he was prompted to divulge details about the "dirty business" by a desire to seek more legitimate employment. "Don't get me wrong," he added. Today'* prayer Father, I will bear the cross you have given me with patience knowing that each man bears a cross of his own, unseen. As Jesus was uncomplaining and noble, so, too, shall J strive to turn my burden into a triumph of the human spirit over suffering. Amen. "I'm not a repentant sinner. My wife threatens to leave me unless I get out. She happens to be an honest woman. Also, I don't want my children to grow up thinking of their father as a crook." Another reason why he decided to unburden himself, he said, was because of the efforts being made to repeal a new state consumer protection law (H.B. 102) which was to go into effect last Tuesday, Implementation of the bill, which is intended to regulate home solicitation sales, was stalled at the last minute by referendum petitions gathered by a group calling itself the Direct Sellers Association. If valid, the petitions will force a statewide vote on the measure, possibly m November. The Arizona Republic's informant said vote Tuesda $4.40, Tolleson's $1.65 rise to $3.08, Mobile's $1.87 rise to $4.62, Deer Valley's $1.34 rise to $4.83 and Littleton's $1.27 rise to $2.94. Surprisingly, among the dozen districts defying the upward trend, several will have significant decreases. In fact, seven districts will have rate drops of 20 cents or more. The greatest decreases will be in the Gilbert combined district, down $1.57 to $5.11, and in the Kyrene Elementary District, down $1.28 to $2.24. Other sizable declines: Ruth Fisher Elementary, down 80 cents to $4.25; Na- daburg Elementary, down 48 cents to Continued on Page A-27 Nixon veto unneeded, Demos say New York Times Service WASHINGTON - The economic committee of the Democratic Policy Council said yesterday President Nixon's veto of education and housing spending bills "simply has no economic justification" as a needed measure against inflation. The statement described as "an incredible contention in today's weak economy" the assertion of the President that increases in the budget for social purposes "would produce uncontrollable inflationary pressures." On Tuesday, the President vetoed a $4.4 billion Office of Education bill and an $18.1 billion independent offices bill including funds for housing, calling them inflationary. On Thursday, the House of Representatives overrode the education veto but sustained the rejection of the offices measure. The Democratic statement was written by Gardner Ackley, who was chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Lyndon B. Johnson, and was approved by the economic committee. "We Democrats believe that the time for an economic policy of severe restraint has long since passed," the statement said. The Democratic Policy Council is an arm of the party. The statement was released yesterday through the Democratic National Committee. The underlying argument of the statement was that "the weakening of the economy has been allowed to proceed too far" and that "a redirection of policy toward expansion" is called for It termed the government's fiscal policy highly restrictive" and implied that more spending would be good, not bad, for the economy. As with other statements by Democratic economists, this one was sharply critical of the administration for refusing to use persuasion or "guidelines" to induce private price and wage restraint, sometimes referred to as an incomes policy. Noting the recent "inflation alert" published by the administration, the statement said: "It is not clear to us in what way reports of this kind are expected to have any influence on future wage and price movements." A policy aimed at re-expanding the economy, the statement said, "will not interfere with progress toward the restoration of price stability, especially if the administration is willing to move forward vigorously with an incomes policy, a program of volujHary /cM/oimi on

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