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Berlow, Kilbreth Get Jail Terms


Judge M. Edward Viola '50 of Middlesex Third District Court Friday sentenced John T. Berlow '71 and James T. Kilbroth '69 to 30 days in jail for disrupting the March 26 "Counter Teach-in."

Viola, however, acquitted Berlow on a charge of criminal trespass.

At the request of Archibald Cox '34, University, troubleshooter, Assistant District Attorney Anthony M. Arena dropped complaints at the outset of the trial against John E. Pennington '67-4 for disturbing a public assembly and against Kilbreth for trespassing.

Berlow and Kilbreth, both members of the Progressive Labor Party (PL), will appeal the decision before Middlesex Superior Court today. The two defendants were released immediately after the trial ended Friday afternoon-Berlow on his own personal recognizance and Kilbreth on $1000 bail.

Of the high-ranking Administration and faculty members who received subpoenas from the defense to testify at the trial, only two appeared-Donald G. M. Anderson, chairman of the Committee on Rights and Responsibilities (CRR), and Cox, the University spokesman who filed charges against the three defendants.


Berlow and Kilbreth-who conducted their own defense before a courtroom of about 80 supporters-attempted to initiate contempt of court proceedings against President-designate Bok and Oscar Handlin, Warren Professor of American History, for ignoring the defense subpoenas.

Viola said that he would withhold judgement on the defense motions until an unspecified later date.

James E. Thomas, Allston Burr Senior Tutor in Adams House, and David A. Guberman '71 testified that they saw Berlow "clapping and chanting" in Sanders Theatre March 26.

The lone witness against Kilbreth, Burriss Young '55, assistant dean of Freshmen, identified Kilbreth in a film introduced by the prosecution. The film showed Kilbreth clapping, chanting. and at one point. throwing a piece of paper toward the stage.

In their defense against the disruption charges, the two defendants argued:

That the scheduled speakers at the "Counter Teach-in" were "butchers who did not deserve to be hoard."

That the "Counter Teach-in" was"a plot between Harvard and the U. S. Information Agency to show that the antiwar movement was dead."

That the trial was "part of an attempt by the University to destroy PL."

In addition, Berlow argued successfully that he should be found not guilty of trespassing since the "Counter Teach-in" was a public assembly to which everyone was invited.

Cox issued a statement Friday afternoon explaining his reasons for dropping complaints against Kilbreth and Pennington. In the statement, Cox said that when he filed the trespassing complaint against Kilbreth, he was unaware that Kilbreth had received his Harvard degree.

Cox also said that at the time he filed criminal charges against Pennington, "information from the Dean's Office indicated that the defendant was not a registered student."

When he discovered that Pennington was a registered student, Cox said he offered to drop charges if Pennington would "acknowledge that he was subject to the CRR's disciplinary authority."

Cox claimed that Pennington did acknowledge the CRR's authority just before the trial began.

Both Kilbreth and Pennington attacked Cox's statement. Pennington said Friday night that he never told Cox that he was subject to the discipline of the CRR.

"I told Cox that I was a registered student and would not claim otherwise," Pennington said. "But I also told him that the CRR was an illegitimate body which had no jurisdiction over me."

The CRR has not yet finished hearing the last of 21 cases of students accused of helping disrupt the "Counter Teach-in," The hearing of Peter Levy '71, which began last Wednesday and continued on Friday, continues again at 5 p. m. today.

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