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Sources: Melissa Linenberger, 785-532-4392, mwaso@k-state.edu;
and Michael Kaye, michael.kaye@washburn.edu
News release prepared by: Emily Vietti, 785-532-2535, evietti@k-state.edu

Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2010

DOROTHY L. THOMPSON LECTURE SERIES OFFERS PANEL DISCUSSION ON 'CARS, COPS AND TRAFFIC STOPS: WHO'S RIGHT?'

MANHATTAN -- The next Dorothy L. Thompson Civil Rights Lecture at Kansas State University will be a roundtable discussion on constitutional rights when it comes to search and seizure.

The panel discussion "Cars, Cops And Traffic Stops: Who's Right?" will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12, in Forum Hall in the K-State Student Union. It's free and open to the public.

The discussion will look at conflicts between the government's right to investigate crime and the people's rights to be left alone in their home or on the highway.

Panelists include Allan Lytton, Kansas Highway Patrol training academy, Troop J; Larry McRell, chief public defender, Junction City; David L. Stutzman, judge, Riley County district court; Barry Wilkerson, Riley County attorney; and Michael Kaye, professor, Washburn University School of Law. The panel will be moderated by Art Thompson, office of the Kansas Judicial Administrator.

The discussion will include hypothetical cases and focus on what happens when police stop and search motorists. The moderator will unfold a fictional scenario presenting real problems for police, prosecutors, judges, lawyers and citizens arising from competing efforts to fight crime and to respect Fourth Amendment rights.

"Panelists will put themselves in the shoes of characters from a case scenario and talk to one another in these roles," Kaye said. "Forced to put aside talking points and prepared speeches, panelists will experience and reveal the larger issues and tough choices connected with this search and seizure in ways that standard debate can't expose."

The Dorothy L. Thompson Civil Rights Lecture Series was established in recognition of Thompson's contributions to the field of human rights on campuses throughout Kansas and the nation. Thompson was associated with K-State from 1971 until her death in 1992.