Spock gets jail term

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Fifth Estate # 58, July 18-31, 1968

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BOSTON, July 10—Dr. Benjamin Spock and three other defendants were sentenced today to two years in Federal’ prison for conspiring to counsel evasion of the draft.

The four stood quietly in Federal District Court as the clerk read the sentences imposed by Judge Francis J.W. Ford, who presided over the case. Execution of the sentences was waived pending legal steps for appeal.

Later, the four defendants took part in the early stages of a march to Boston Common, about two miles from the courthouse, where supporters held an anti-war rally at which several young men turned in draft cards.

Besides Dr. Spock, the defendants sentenced today were the Rev. William Sloane Coffin Jr., chaplain of Yale University; Michael Ferber, a Harvard graduate student, and Mitchell Goodman, a teacher and author from Temple, Me.

Also in the courtroom was Marcus Raskin, co-director of the Institute for Policy Studies, a private research organization in Washington. He was acquitted by the jury that convicted the others on June 14.

In addition to the jail sentences, three men were fine() $5,000 each. Mr. Ferber was fined $1,000. The maximum penalties under the law are five years in jail and $10,000 fines.

The defense lawyers announced that they would appeal. The case would go to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. From there it could be appealed to the Supreme Court.

Neither Dr. Spock nor Mr. Coffin accepted an offer to speak for themselves. Mr. Ferber said he was not a member of a conspiracy, “but a movement by my own generation for love of our country and what it might become.” “I have no regrets,” he added.

Mr. Goodman said he thought that part of his impulse in joining anti-draft activities was based on trying to understand that young men “have grown up in the strangest and most awful period of our history.”

The four men joined with more than 100 pickets, who had been circling the courthouse, in a march toward the Common.

Dr. Spock, after asserting that the law must be obeyed, said, “I am not convinced I broke any law.” He said he intended to go on working against the war in Vietnam and to take part in political activity aimed at ending the fighting.

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