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I apologize for breaking in. Also, I wonder if we could have unanimous consent to have that document which has been received from the Department, which outlines what happened or the omnibus bill, made a part of the record?
Mr. WHITENER. Who has the document?
Mr. WHITENER. You are talking about the one relating to alcoholics?
Mr. ADAMS. No, the one that relates to the omnibus bill itself.
Mr. ADAMS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I apologize again for breaking in.
(The document referred to by Mr. Adams appears at p. 81.)
Mr. Sisk. Mr. Vinson, I do not want to take a lot of time unnecessarily at this point.
There are a number of questions that others have, too.
I just would like to get, as I say, very briefly the three or four points on this. There may be many things that you might find necessary to criticize, but I was referring specifically to what your position was.
I would take it that the bill which we passed last year was unconstitutional, in your opinion?
Mr. VINSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. Sisk. I simply would like to ask, as I pointed out, to have you point out specifically the various ways in which you felt personally that it was unconstitutional and that this title III, as I understand it, is one of the areas?
Mr. Vinson. Yes, sir,
In other words, under title I, do you have any particular comment, briefly, on title I, as to its constitutionality?
Mr. Vinson. Yes, sir. I think that if you will look at title III and title I together, which would permit in total a minimum of 10 hours' interrogation, I have a feeling, of course, that you might find that persuasive. But, actually, with respect tó title , in our letter to Chairman McMillan we called the committee's attention to Miranda which, of course, was just handed down early in the summer, and we have had the situation of 6 months' experience under Miranda. We feel that Miranda may well moot some of the problems engendered by the Mallory decision.
Let us go back to the basic Mallory decision.
Mr. Sisk. If I may interrupt you: Is not our title I based on Miranıla; is that not squarely on all fours with the Miranda decision?
Mr. Vinson. Actually, I think it is designed to get at the Mallory situation.
Miranda is a decision based on a constitutional predicate, and there is nothing that we can accomplish by way of legislation in that area.
Mr Sisk. I would like you to go ahead and mention those other areas in which you questioned the constitutionality, Mr. Vinson.
In other words, you feel that title I is of questionable constitutionality
Mr. VINSON. As to title I, Mr. Congressman, I think there is a definite statutory conflict in title I. For instance, title I and title III enable a man to be held for a minimum of 10 hours and interrogated. The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure come into that.
If you read title I to be unconstitutional-however, I think, personally, I would not read it that way. I would read it to the effect that the Miranda requirement is additional to whatever requirements were put into a statute such as title I.
Title II of the omnibus bill has to do with insanity. In one respect
raises a question, that particular provision having to do with the ability of the prosecution to comment on what happens to the accused in the event of a finding of not guilty due to insanity.
I am wholeheartedly in support of the provisions in the omnibus crime bill with respect to insanity which would require notice of the defense of insanity to be given, because, too often, the prosecution is faced with an insanity defense when it has had no opportunity to prepare for that.
Title III we have already discussed in some detail.
Title IV, as to material witnesses, I do not know whether I would say that the principal objection is constitutional, but the omnibus crime bill would have permitted a material witness to be treated more roughly than an arrested defendant, which we thought was undesirable.
Title V provided indeterminate sentences. I beg your pardon. I said "indeterminate sentences”; I meant mandatory minimum sentences. I think that the Department of Justice has already articulated its position on minimum mandatory sentences. We feel that it is a step backward insofar as the criminal law is concerned.
Your title I forget which title-has to do with obscenity, but I believe it is title VI or a portion of title VI. We felt that there was a definite constitutional infirmity with respect to prior restraint.
Mr. Sisk. Those, basically, then, are the questions that you have on the omnibus bill?
Time is getting away, Mr. Chairman. I will not take any further time. I am sure that the chairman wants to get into this more fully.
Mr. WHITENER. Mr. Harsha.
Mr. HARSHA. I notice in the President's veto message which I assumed the Department had a part in, he was critical of the omnibus crime bill; in fact, he says, “It does not touch the quality or quantity of law enforcement resource; more better trained, better equipped, and better paid police and correction workers.”.
I see no provision for any such items in his bill.
Mr. VINSON. Not in the crime reduction bill that is before the committee, Mr. Congressman. However, there is substantial provision for this in the budgetary items. I believe there is a request for about $11.6 million in this area.
Mr. HARSHA. There has been much criticism of the omnibus bill. Why would the administration's bill not be equally subject to criticism?
Mr. Vinson. I do not believe that it is a source of criticism, per se. I think what the message is saying there is that our problems are not so much legislative and substantive law, but our problems are the problems that could be better met by another way of improving the performance of the police, the courts, and our correctional system.
Mr. Harsha. Last year, we provided for a 9.9-percent increase in salaries to the police, over the strong objection of the administration. They wanted to cut it down to around about 3.2 percent.
Mr. VINSON. We are not speaking just in terms of salaries.
Mr. Vinson. The beginning salary of a patrolman in the District of Columbia is about $1,800 or $1,900 more than the median starting salary in the Nation; in the large cities.
Let me perhaps, illustrate.
The District of Columbia Crime Commission and the International Association of Chiefs of Police have recommended a precinct consolidation in the District as one means of obtaining better police services. Initially, it was a very controversial proposal. It is the sort of proposal that when it hits you cold-and I will admit that when it hit me cold, I thought that it was going in the wrong direction, that maybe we ought to have more precincts instead of less precincts--but upon examination, every one, to my knowledge, who reacted as I did, has seen the light.
If you consolidate from 14 to six precincts, you will free a minimum of 144 policemen for street duty. This, in turn, would mean that, say, during the shifts, you would have from each present precinct
, perhaps, 10 more one-man patrols or five more two-man patrols.
The basic precinct system in the District of Columbia was set in 1861. They set up 10 precincts.
Mr. HARSHA. This is circumventing the point that I am trying to make. That may all be well and good, having to do with the bills that are before us, but the point that I am trying to make is that the President uses one avenue of criticism for our bill, because it does not deal with better paid police, and we gave them more, more than double the amount of the raise that the administration wanted to give. Then, he goes on and says that better staffed courts are needed. We gave them five new judges last year, and they all have not been appointed as yet, have they? Mr. Vinson. I think there may be one vacancy or two.
Two were sworn in last week.
Mr. HARSHA. What has been the delay on that?
Mr. Vinson. Getting back to your question about better paid police, in the President's message it did not speak, so far as I recall, in terms of better paid police. It says that the bill does not "touch the quality or quantity of law enforcement resources: more, better trained, better equipped, and better paid police and corrections workers.”
I think the thrust of that, really, is on the better trained, better equipped, better paid, at least in the sense of more supervisory personnel.
I understand that the police are now increasing the number of sergeants and officers.
Mr. HARSHA. I believe you said that the Criminal Division did not make a recommendation on the veto or on the omnibus bill last year. Is that correct?
Nr. VINSON. The Department of Justice made the recommendation, Vr. HARSHA. But not the Criminal Division of that Department? Nr. VINSON. That is correct.
Mr. HARSHA. Well, now, why, under any stretch of the imagination, would not the Criminal Division make a recommendation?
Mr. Vinson. We do not make our recommendations directly to the President. Mr. Harsha.
Mr. Harsha. Who do you make them to?
Mr. Vinson. We certainly participated in the decision as to the constitutionality of certain of these provisions.
Mr. Harsha. Well, to what degree, and just how did you participate in it?
Mr. Vinson. To a very significant degree.
Mr. Vinson. At that time it was to the Office of the Deputy Attorney General.
Mr. ÉARSHA. In your prepared statement, you say on page 6: It seems evident that the District of Columbia would do well to cease losing $5 million per year of police, court, and correction resources in its revolving door for drunks and to revise its laws.
Do you have any estimate of what it would cost for these medical and civil alternatives that you recommend?
Mr. Vinson. No, sir; I do not, sir. I doubt that it would be an overall saving of really a significant amount. Obviously the detoxification centers will cost money. My point here was that I would like to see the $5 million used for criminal justice, used for the police, and the like.
Mr. HARSHA. You do not mean to convey the impression that there might be a saving?
Mr. Vinson. Absolutely not; my precise words were: "losing $5 million per year of police, court, and correction resources.” I am not sure that there would be any overall saving.
Mr. HARSHA. On page 9 of your statement, you state: First the supervision of youthful offenders is vested in Districtof Columbia correctional authorities rather than the Federal authorities. This permits continuity of supervision when the young offenders are paroled and facilitates their rehabilitation.
I would like to know why and how it does that?
Mr. Vinson. As I understand the present situation, the Federal authorities have jurisdiction--that is, correctional jurisdiction--over each offender, and when they are paroled or on probation, the District authorities have that. This is for having unified correctional service so that the same people would have available the same records, the same knowledge of these people. The whole problem and have that continuity.
Mr. HARSHA. I want to go back to this discussion of title II and title III. I do not mean to belabor it, but I cannot, for the life of me, get the distinction that you get out of it.
In title III, of the omnibus bill, it says that an officer when he has probable cause to believe that a person is committing or has committed a crime, he may demand his name and address and other pertinent information, and if he does not supply that to the satisfaction of the officer, he may detain him, and in your section he may, upon probable cause, arrest him immediately.
Then, you go on in your statement and say that you even seem to advocate something similar to title III by making a reference to certain progressive statutes, such as those in the State of Wisconsin, where arrests are permitted for all misdemeanors.
Mr. Vinson. Without a warrant.
Mr. Harsha. Yes, sir. I cannot see that title III of the omnibus bill would be sufficient grounds in and of itself to veto the entire bill. Mr. Vixson. Well, I assume you can go two ways.
You can either have separate bills, or you can have one bill. I am not prepared to speak for the Attorney General or the President as to whether he would have seen fit to veto one particular piece of this bill standing by itself. However, it would be my guess that title III would fall in that category, because our title that you refer to, which gives the power to arrest, starts with the civil process. The man is arrested, and whatever rights he has, prompt presentment, et cetera, all fall in line.
However, title III of the omnibus bill, which speaks in terms of the detention of the suspect, really, is one on which you assume circumstances under which you were, say, under our bill you would have the right to arrest but you do not arrest. You can hold the fellow incommunicado for 4 hours and interrogate him. Presumably, he would not have a right to counsel during that period of time. I do not know about that.
I think that we would have to read Miranda into title III, because custody and interrogation would require it.
Mr. Harsha. This offers much more protection for the individual, because if he gives the police officer reasonable explanation of what he is doing there, the police officer will turn him loose. But in your case, he is going to be arrested, and the arrest is noted in his record.
Mr. Vinson. In this case, in the case of title III of the omnibus bill, the police can make the arrest anyhow, because the predicate for it
Mr. HARSHA. In your bill, he makes the arrest before he finds out this other information.
Mr. VINSON. He may do that.
Mr. HARSHA. Sure. And he would have to do it, would he not, under the same and similar set of circumstances in each case? In one he would have made an arrest, and in the other he can merely detain him and further interrogate him; then, if he is not satisfied he may arrest him or he may release him after 4 hours, but under your bill he must arrest him.
Mr. VINSON. That is right. He must, if he wishes to hold him, but he could ask the same questions, get his name and the like. And it is quite customary to ask those questions on the street, to ask him for his address and where he has been and where he is going, and then he can make the arrest, if that is his position, without a warrant under the provisions of our bill.
Mr. Harsha. I have no further questions at this point, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. WHITENER. Mr. Hagan.
I just want to compliment Mr. Vinson for a very informative statement before this committee this morning, and particularly do I express special appreciation for his very knowledgeable answers to the questions relative to my bill, H.R. 6143.