BUSH INTRODUCES CRIME PACKAGE TO CONGRESS
President Bush, urging a 100-day deadline for action, sent his anticrime package back to Congress March 11. The package did not include a ban on semiautomatic weapons, a provision the Senate passed by one vote last year. Nor did it include the elements of the Brady bill, urged by gun control supporters, for a seven-day waiting period before purchase of a pistol.
Sen. Joseph Biden (D) of Delaware, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he would introduce a bill very close to the one passed by the Senate last year that included a ban on the importation or manufacture of semiautomatic weapons.
Declaring that his proposals are "designed to address comprehensively the failures of the current criminal justice system," Bush recommended:
Restoration of the federal death penalty, providing that it be expanded to apply to drug kingpins and for acts such as terrorist murders of American nationals abroad, killing of hostages, and murder for hire.
Habeas corpus reform "to stop the repetitive appeals that clog the criminal justice system" by limiting the ability of federal and state prisoners to file repetitive habeas corpus petitions.
Exclusionary-rule reform to limit the release of violent criminals due to legal technicalities by permitting use of evidence seized by law-enforcement officials acting "in good faith." The proposal includes an administrative procedure for punishing federal officers who violate Fourth Amendment standards.
Expanding firearms offensives and penalities, including a 10-year mandatory prison term for the use of semiautomatic guns in a drug trafficking offense or violent felony. A general ban on gun magazines that enable a firearm to fire more than 15 rounds without reloading.