6 07-17-87 10:23 ped calif., n.y., krishna states Prosecutor says Krishna ceremonty won't

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6 07-17-87 10:23 ped calif., n.y., krishna states Prosecutor says Krishna ceremonty won't help Drescher MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. (UPI) _ The Marshall County prosecutor dismissed Hare Krishna devotee Thomas Drescher's claim that a religious ceremony should free him from his life sentence for murder as a "laughing matter." Drescher says he will go through a Krishna ceremony next Wednesday in the West Virginia Penitentiary that will erase his past and should permit him to be set free and allowed to preach worldwide. "With this ceremony, you become socially dead. For a Krishna, it means, `Whatever he was, he no longer is,"' Drescher said Friday from the prison. However, Marshall County prosecutor Thomas White said there is no chance Drescher would be released from his life sentence for the 1983 murder of fellow devotee Charles Saint Denis. "It's totally foreign to any jurisprudence I know of," White said. "It's little more than a laughing matter." White said Drescher's comment that his past will be erased through the ceremony could be construed as a ploy to avoid extradition to California where he is wanted for the May 1986 murder of Krishna dissident Steven Bryant of Los Angeles. "(Drescher) can't allege he's not the same person just because he has a different name," White said. Drescher's second extradition hearing is scheduled July 31 in Marshall County Circuit Court in Moundsville. He refused at a June 26 hearing to waive extradition. Drescher, a native of Buffalo, N.Y., said he will take the order of Sannyasa in the ceremony inside the maximum-security prison at Moundsville. He said the title of "swami" will be added to his Krishna name. "One becomes fully renounced of material encumbrances. You have to cut off all previous ties with your wife and family," he said. "You must rely solely on Krishna."


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