President Bush, who expressed disappointment with the limited crime control bill approved by Congress last year, has signaled that he intends to keep anti-crime initiatives on the national agenda this year, beginning with a national conference that was held last month.
In his State of the Union speech, the president said, "We're determined to protect another fundamental civil right - freedom from crime and the fear that stalks our cities. The Attorney General will soon convene a crime summit of our nation's law enforcement officials. And to help us support them, we need tough crime control legislation, and we need it now."
The summit meeting, held in Washington between March 3-5, was sponsored by the Justice Department's Office of Justice Programs, and included representatives of the nation's top law enforcement agencies. The Administration used the meeting to push the legislative package that is expected to reach Capitol Hill soon. It will include four major provisions that failed to pass the Congress last year: limits on habeas corpus petitions by death row inmates; expansion of the "good faith" exception to the exclusionary rules to include cases where not search warrant was issued; the death penalty for "drug kingpins" in cases that do not involve murder; and mandatory drug testing of federal offenders on post conviction release.
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