Too eager to execute


THE SENATE'S anti-crime bill is a hodge-podge of much that's good and bad about American justice and law enforcement. It's tougher on assault weapons and drugs in prisons, but far too eager to execute people.

It's called an anti-crime bill, but it does little to prevent crime. The measure concentrates on punishment -- 51 crimes would merit capital punishment, including the murder of a federal official such as a poultry inspector.

The House has a chance to inject some common sense into the final crime bill in conference with the Senate, even though it runs the risk of a presidential veto over the broader death penalty. Catering to a national desire for more executions is a glaring example of what's wrong with America's justice system.

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