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Archive for Tuesday, September 13, 1994

CRIME BILL BOTH GOOD, BAD, PROSECUTOR SAYS

September 13, 1994

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The crime bill recently passed by Congress has some beneficial measures as well as shortfalls, a federal prosecutor for Kansas said Monday.

A measure in the bill banning several kinds of automatic weapons is "probably one of the good things of the crime bill," said Rich Hathaway, senior prosecutor for the U.S. attorney's office and coordinator of the state's federal violent crime program.

"There is no reason anyone should have access to a Mac-15," one of the weapons banned under the bill, he said.

Hathaway also said programs such as midnight basketball contained in the bill could help curb gang activity.

Congressional supporters of such programs called them "preventative measures" while detractors said they were "pork."

"I think it's a great program," Hathaway said of an existing midnight basketball program in Topeka. "The kids want to be safe. They want to go somewhere that has a safe environment."

But Hathaway criticized a measure in the bill that he said would fund more police officers by cutting the number of prosecutors.

"That's one of the shortfalls of the crime bill."

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