America has been far from successful in dealing with the sort of crime that obsesses Americans day and night—I mean street crime, crime that invades our neighborhoods and our homes—murders, robberies, rapes, muggings, holdups, break-ins—the kind of brutal violence that makes us fearful of strangers and afraid to go out at night.

So said President Gerald Ford last week as he sent a special message to Congress on a subject that has long plagued the nation and frustrated several Administrations: the nation's continuing crime wave.

Ford's characterization of anticrime efforts as being "far from successful" is a major understatement....

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