Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona on June 18, 1970 · Page 34
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Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona · Page 34

Phoenix, Arizona
Issue Date:
Thursday, June 18, 1970
Page 34
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Page 34 article text (OCR)

ALL EDITIONS 20 The Arizona Republic Phoenix, thorn, Jtm« 18,137ft Kleindienst, Bayh battle over crime By BEN COLE Republic Washington Bureau WASHINGTON - Two of the government's fiercest opponents squared off stesterday as Deputy Atty. Gen. Richard G. Kleindienst and Sen. Birch E. Bayh, D-Ind., clashed over preventive detention. To start things off badly, Kleindienst was kept cooling his heels more than an hour in the Senate Judiciary Committee chamber while Bayh and other committee members conducted business elsewhere. The Nixon administration's proposal would permit criminal suspects judged by the courts to pose a serious threat to public safety to be held in preventive detention without bail while awaiting trial. Sen. Sam Ervin, D.-N.C., who is siding with Bayh against the Justice Department's House-approved bill, said that the system which Kleindienst proposes would turn into a legal merry- go-round. Ervin saw a criminal defendant being detained anew every 60 days "until Gabriel blows his horn." Bayh then took up the baiting of Kleindienst to say that the measure would permit the jailing of citizens on hearsay evidence. Kleindienst, a man known for quick replies, said judges already deny bail for hearsay reasons. They may, he said, tell the open court they suspect the defendant won't return to be tried; but they are thinking about the prospect of offenses to be committed during the bond period. "If this is going on anyway, why do we need this bill?" Bayh demanded. A hearing chamber full of spectators broke out in laughter at Bayh's sally; but the senator called for order. He said he and Kleindienst may disagree oh methods, but they agree on goals. That, however, was about all the geniality shown. Sometimes, Bayh and Kleindienst were talking simultaneously in their heated exchanges. -; Bayh declared Kleindienst had no statistics to back up his request for a preventive detention law. He said it would let people be "thrown in jail" because of "hearsay and scuttlebutt," "They will not be thrown in jail," Kleindienst objected. "Where are you going to keep them then?" Byh asked, again amusing the spectators who were obviously unsympathetic to the Justice Department. Kleindienst said anybody jailed to await trial would get a hearing. He said this is already what goes on in cases involving capital crimes. Bayh protested that Kleindienst, in equating purse- snatching and robbery with murder, was comparing "grapes and grapefruit." Kleindienst retorted, "I refuse to agree that comparing crimes of rape and robbery with murder is comparing grapes and grapefruit. It is more like the different sizes of grapefruit." "There is a tremendous difference between thinking somebody might commit a crime and trying somebody who has actually committed a crime — therein lies the difference between grapes and grapefruit," Bayh-said. Before the confrontation ended, Bayh took Kleindienst to task for having criticized the Ervin's criticism of the detention bill. Bayh said Ervin never took a position without first studying the case thoroughly. Kleindienst apologized for implying that Ervin had been too busy with other lawmaking duties to study the administration's crime prevention program. But, the deputy attorney general said, Ervin had called the bill a "can of garbage" and a "bad apple" that spoiled a barrel. Before adjournment, Bayh again said he and Kleindienst were agreed on the need to prevent crime — they disagreed on how. • Outside, Kleindienst was stopped by TV cameramen who asked him if he was a right-wing law-and-order man. 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