Saying the nation was robbed of a good, tough crime bill last year, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, outlined to Congress Thursday what he feels must be in such a bill this year.
And he also told the Judiciary Committee, as it began a hearing on crime control, one thing he does not want in the bill: gun control - against which he led long battles last year."The American people demand action. They watched last year as a conference committee of Congress trashed tough provisions passed by one or both Houses, which would have made a real difference in fighting crime. The American people will not forgive us if we repeat that spectacle," Hatch said.
But that doesn't include providing greater gun control. Hatch said, "I stress that gun control will not address the crime problem and gun control is not a substitute for crime control."
But reforms that Hatch, a senior member of the committee, said should be in the bill include:
- An enforceable federal death penalty.
- Reform of "habeas corpus" rules to prevent endless appeals through the federal court system by convicted criminals.
- Exclusionary rule reform "so that credible evidence of a defendant's guilt is not excluded on technicalities benefitting lawbreakers at the expense of innocent women and men of all ages, races and ethnic backgrounds," Hatch said.
- Allow admission of confessions at trial if they were offered voluntarily but did not exactly comply with what Hatch called "the Supreme Court's ill-conceived Miranda decision, which imposed extra-constitutional rule on police interrogations of criminal suspects."