The Law: Public Safety and Private Rights

"If we get the tools from Congress," Richard Nixon promised the country just one month ago, "we will use them and we will reduce this rate of crime." The President was addressing himself to a major national concern, but not one of the Administration's 20 major anticrime bills has yet become law. The main reason: bipartisan fear that many of their provisions would jeopardize the rights of the innocent without really giving much practical aid to the forces of law and order.

Last week a House-Senate conference committee agreed on a crime bill for the District of Columbia with its most controversial...

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