Democratic leaders are trying to revive a major crime bill that conservatives derailed in a protest over death penalty provisions they said are too weak.

"This is a travesty," Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., said Tuesday as he and other conservatives fought the measure on the House floor. They said it needed stricter provisions to end excessive delays in carrying out death sentences.A major controversy is brewing over "habeas corpus" provisions designed to end delays of a decade or more in carrying out executions while the condemned file repeated appeals claiming they were treated in an unconstitutional manner.

The bill is designed to limit death row inmates to one such petition in many cases to be filed no later than one year after their other appeals are exhausted.