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that we could get a bill on record which, I think, would be very helpful. It is definitely needed.
Mr. Sisk. I might state at this point, for the record, Mr. Tobrinerand correct me if this statement is incorrect that I believe General Duke, who was the predecessor to General Mathe, did not agree with the recommendation of the Commissioners at the time of the consideration by the President of the possibility of a veto on that bill; is that correct?
Mr. TOBRINER. That is correct.
General Mathe. In that respect, too, I would say at this particular point in time that I would go along with the Board of Commissioners in their views as presented here today. I think that after the Congress has acted on a crime bill, I think, again, we are going to have to have opposition, even though the Congress might not agree with us, as to what our recommendations would be to the President in respect to the measure, or that of the Bureau of the Budget.
Mr. Sisk. All right. That concludes your statements then for this morning. I think that we will start our questioning. Do you have any questions, Mr. Harsha?
Mr. HARSHA. I would like to make an observation before I get into the questions that I want to ask the Commissioners.
I am very happy to see all the members on the minority side of the committee here in attendance. This is a very paramount problem, not only to the District of Columbia, but to the Nation as a whole. We on the minority are deeply concerned with it. This omnibus bill is one of the tools whereby we hope, eventually, to meet the appalling crime problem that exists in the District of Columbia.
I assure you, members of the Board of Commissioners, that the minority will act very objectively on this problem. And we hope to cooperate with the majority whenever possible and to present a measure that can be supported by all of us. I want to commend the Board of Commissioners, each of you, for
, appearing here today, to give us your very forthright opinion of this omnibus bill.
I take it that from what you have said that more or less you are unalterably opposed to the omnibus bill in its present form, but do support H.R. 7327.
Mr. TOBRINER. The Attorney General's bill; yes.
Mr. HARSHA. Do you have any reservations about the contents of that bill?
Mr. TOBRINER. No, sir; I do not.
Mr. Dowdy. I have only one question, which is in connection with Mr. Tobriner's statement that the District of Columbia had a higher rate of punishment for offenders than any other jurisdiction-was that Federal ?
Mr. TOBRINER. Federal jurisdiction.
Mr. Dowdy. This booklet was published in 1960, and it might be in a worse position today than in 1960. These are from the Federal Bureau of Prisons' statistics. The list here show's crimes for felonies by those who were released after their time being served from State and Federal institutions. For murder it shows that the District of Columbia is No. 25 on that list--not the highest, but No. 25 down from the highest as to the length of time that the person served.
For manslaughter, it has a fair ranking of number 10.
For aggravated assault, it is No. 23 on the list. That is, as to the length of time served after conviction.
For rape, the District of Columbia is No. 29 on the list. Mr. TOBRINER. We will furnish the figures on which I am relying. (See item IV, Commissioner's letter to the Chairman, at p. 57.)
Mr. Dowdy. This was in 1960. And I would take a guess that the District of Columbia is in a worse position now than it was in 1960.
Mr. Sisk. The Chair would like at this point, unless there is objection, to make as part of the record the most recent report from the Metropolitan Police Department; namely, its Summary of Crime in the District of Columbia for the month of February 1967, the 57th consecutive month showing increase in crime.
Also, a tabulation prepared from the Uniform Crime Reports of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, dated March 15, 1967, comparing major crimes for the years 1965 and 1966 in 16 major cities, including Washington.
According to the FBI figures, the city of Washington for 1966 ranked third in murder, among these major cities; seventh in rape; first in robbery; second in aggravated assault; third in housebreaking; fourth in larceny; and fourth in auto theft; which is a pretty dismal record, I might say.
(The documents referred to follow :)
CRIME IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, FEBRUARY 1967
(Metropolitan Police Department Summary) The Washington crime wave continues unabated. The most recent statistics released by the Metropolitan Police Department show February 1967 to be the 57th consecutive month with an increase in crime in the Nation's Capital.
During February 1967, a total of 2,631 offenses was reported in the District, an increase of 633 offenses, or 31.7-percent increase from February 1966. The February 1967 increases in crime occurred in the following classifications:
Homicide, up 2 offenses, or 20-percent increase.
Rape, with 14 offenses, showed no change over February 1966. The increases for February 1967 brought the trend of serious offenses (total offenses for the past 12 months) to 30,767 offenses, an increase of 5,069 offenses, or 22.6-percent increase from the trend of February 1966 and an increase of 211.8 percent from the low point of April 1957.
Clearances of part I offenses for the 12-month period ending with February 1967 were down to 26.5 percent, as compared with 30.2 percent for the 12-month period ending February 1966.
Rank order, Washington: Actual number.
I All 1966 crime figures from reporting units are preliminary.
Based on “Unisorm Crime Reports"--1966 Preliminary Annual Release-issued by the
(Subsequently, statistics released by the Metropolitan Police Department for the month of March 1967, show it to be the 58th consecutive month with an increase in crime in Washington. Summary of the Department's report for March follows:)
CRIME IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, March 1967 During March 1967, a total of 3,280 Crime Index Offenses were reported in the District, an increase of 1,108 offenses or 51 percent from March 1966.
During the month increases occurred in the classifications of homicide, up 4 offenses or 28.6 percent; rape, up 7 offenses or 87.5 percent; robbery, up 214 offenses or 85.9 percent; aggravated assault, up 3 offenses or 1.2 percent; housebreaking, up 559 offenses or 72 percent; larceny ($50 and over), up 126 offenses or 29.6 percent; auto theft, up 195 offenses or 42.6 percent.
The increases for this month brought the trend of Crime Index Offenses (total offenses for the past twelve months) to 31,875, an increase of 6,752 offenses or 26.9 percent from the trend of March 1966, and an increase of 223 percent from the low point of April 1957.
Clearance of Crime Index Offenses for the twelve month period ending with March 1967 were down to 26 percent as compared with 28.2 percent for the twelve month period ending with March 1966.
Mr. Sisk. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Broyhill.
Mr. BROYHILL. Mr. Tobriner, apparently title I of the omnibus bill is the most controversial?
Mr. TOBRINER. No; title III.
Mr. BROYHILL. There has been more talk about title I-I think that title I is one of the most important sections of the bill. You have felt that title I of the bill enacted last year raised constitutional rights?
Mr. TOBRINER. I am not sure as to the constitutional violation of title I, but I do feel that if we are genuinely concerned about the protection of the constitutional rights of the accused as determined by the Supreme Court in the Miranda case, that those rights must be protected; that is, through the application of 5(a) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which, you know, require the accused to be brought before a judicial officer without unnecessary delay and apprised of his rights.
1r. BROYHILL. I infer from what you have said in your testimony that there was a question of the constitutionality of it?
Mr. TOBRINER. I am not so sure, because I think that the amended title I virtually repeats the language of the Miranda case. In the first subsection, although it uses the words, "assistance of counsel,” I believe, and the Miranda case uses “the presence of counsel,” but I think that is a very minor difference.
Mr. BROYHILL. I am wondering how the constitutional rights of any individual would be infringed upon since it provides that the period of interrogation shall not be for more than 6 hours, and so forth.
Mr. TOBRINER. I am not sure that they would be, but it does seem to me that from a practical point of view as to these rights in a public court, where the public is admitted, it can result in far fewer contests between the police and the accused as to the adequacy of the warning and as to the assistance of counsel. And, surely, from the standpoint of practical reason it seems to me that from that position alone on that-and that rule 5(a) is more desirable.