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AJCONGRESS WEIGHS IN ON CRIME BILL & RELATED MATTERS

 WASHINGTON, Nov. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- As Congress debates the Crime Bill, American Jewish Congress President Robert K. Lifton has questioned the wisdom of focusing "too much attention on proposals that allow politicians to present themselves as being `tough on crime,' but in reality do little to make our nation's streets and communities safer."
 Urges a "Full Hearing" for Rep. Washington's Alternative Crime Bill:
 In a letter to Rep. Craig Washington (D-Texas), Lifton commended the congressman for introducing the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Reform Act (H.R. 3315), which "would represent an important break from the failed policies of the past." While AJCongress has not yet reviewed every provision of this omnibus legislation, Lifton did express the organization's support for the bill's heavy emphasis on programs to prevent crime and its attempt to correct the statutes that have crippled our judicial system and virtually bankrupted our federal prison system."
 Lifton also noted that AJCongress has long supported strict gun control measures and the Racial Justice Act, which would prohibit discrimination in the application of the death penalty, measures which "form an integral part of H.R. 3315." In conclusion, Lifton urged Congress to give "all viable alternatives to combating crime, especially H.R. 3315, ... a full and fair hearing."
 Commends Sen. Moynihan for Proposal to Tax Ammunition:
 In a separate letter to Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.), Lifton thanked the senator for his "creative efforts to curb the intolerably high level of gun carnage plaguing our nation." Moynihan has proposed a sharp rise in the federal tax on the purchase of ammunition, with the highest tax hikes targeted at the particularly destructive "expanding bullets." Pledging to work with the senator to see that his proposal is enacted into law, Lifton called the measure "a valuable contribution to the ongoing efforts to reduce the appallingly high rate of violent death and injury caused by firearms."
 Applauds Passage of "Brady Bill":
 Joining supporters of stricter gun control laws, Lifton commended the House of Representatives for passing the "Brady Bill," which would establish a national five-working day waiting period to allow local law enforcement to conduct background checks on handgun purchases. Calling on the Senate to join the House in approving the bill, Lifton observed that "while the Brady Bill will not eliminate handgun violence, it is a desperately needed step in the right direction."
 -0- 11/11/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Copies of the letters to Washington and Moynihan are available upon request./
 /CONTACT: Mark J. Pelavin of the American Jewish Congress, 202-332-4001/


CO: American Jewish Congress ST: District of Columbia IN: SU: LEG

KD-IH -- DC015 -- 3319 11/11/93 15:06 EST
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Date:Nov 11, 1993
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