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- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
ERROR OF JUDGMENT
Sonny Liston has been exonerated in his latest brush with the law (19th arrest since 1950) and therefore is eligible to fight for the heavyweight title.
Philadelphia Magistrate E. David Keiser heard the evidence against Liston and co-defendant Isaac Cooper: that they had chased Mrs. Delores Ellis in their car through a lonely stretch of a city park in the predawn hours of June 12, had shone a spotlight in her face, forced her car to a stop and ordered her out of it, and had driven away at high speed, with their lights out, when a park guard approached to investigate. Liston's manager, George Katz, said that Liston and Cooper were doing road work in the park, at his orders—apparently a light workout, behind the wheel. In dismissing the charges, Magistrate Keiser ruled that Liston was guilty only of "errors of judgment."
The same day, the headmaster of a boys' school in Connecticut was appearing before a Hartford judge on charges of cruel treatment of his pupils. He admitted disciplining one boy by putting him in a gas-operated clothes dryer and turning the machine on. He left court with a $50 fine and a suspended sentence because he was only guilty, the judge ruled, of an "error of judgment."
These cases, we believe, signal a milestone in jurisprudence. Such classic determinations as "guilty," "innocent," or "not guilty" may be replaced in all courts and all cases by "slightly guilty because of error of judgment." Frankie Carbo should have had the benefit of this one.
BASKETBALL SCANDAL (CONT.)
The University of Detroit, already upset by New York District Attorney Frank Hogan's disclosure that two of its basketball stars took money from gamblers to shave points, got an even ruder shock the other day. The two players told a Detroit News reporter that they had been receiving under-the-table payments from alumni for their basketball services.
Charlie North, a junior, and John Morgan, a sophomore, described how a letter mysteriously appeared in their mailboxes on the first and 15th of every month. It contained money. How much? "Twenty dollars," said North. "But it wasn't from the school," added Morgan. "It was from the alumni."