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Rights and the Chairman of the Equal Opportunity Commission shall establish a task force to review each report of the Comptroller General. Now, there have been three reports.

The first report, well over a year ago, close to two years ago, said they couldn't draw any conclusions. The second report, which is over a year ago, the fall of 1988, indicated that the preliminary conclusions did demonstrate that there was discrimination. Now the final report has reaffirmed that.

In our checking with those--and we are under a time frame of 30 days in order to make some judgment whether to repeal the sanctions or take other kinds of other steps to try and sort of deal with this finding by the GAO. And even as late as yesterday, in our communications with the Civil Rights Commission as well as the Equal Opportunity Commission, we find that the Department of Justice just hasn't followed up, hasn't complied with the law. Why not?

Attorney General THORNBURGH. Let me say first, Senator Kennedy, that this administration, the President and the Attorney General, are committed to firm enforcement of our civil rights laws and to the removal of any existing barriers to equal opportunity. But it is clear that there are differences between the administration and those such as yourself who share this commitment and this interest. My hope is that we can address these differences in a way that results in agreement, as we have in many areas thus far.

Looking at the response to the Supreme Court cases which were decided last term, I think it is useful to note that of five or six major decisions which we were charged by the President to review and monitor insofar as their effect was concerned, we have recommended legislation seeking adjustments in two of those cases. You have proposed legislation that would effect changes in others.

We both agree that the Richmond case, the Crowson case, which was the case that aroused so much concern at the time, need not be addressed by remedial legislation. And this process, I think, that will ensue in the study and consideration of these various proposals will underscore not only the differences that exist with regard to proposed remedies and the techniques of dealing with these cases, but also a consensus on the broad issues that I referred to.

I mention that only to allay any concerns that you have about our desire to advance the cause of civil rights during this period.

With regard to the GAO report, we do intend to comply with the law. The report was rendered only last week. It is being studied currently by the Department of Justice. We are committed to protecting legalized aliens from discrimination. We also feel that the employer sanction provisions have had a positive effect in reducing illegal entry into this country, and we will, as appropriate, consult with the Chairmen of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Civil Rights Commission to assess this. This is the first definitive final report that has been forthcoming and provides some real grist for the mill in terms of examining these questions.

Senator KENNEDY. Well, let me just read the law: Establishment of a joint task force. The Attorney General, jointly with the Chairman of the Commission on Civil Rights and the Chairman of the Equal Opportunity Commission, shall establish a task force to review each report of the Comptroller General transmitted.

Each report, not the last report. Each report. Now, the preliminary report was over a year ago, in the fall of 1988, that made a preliminary finding of discrimination. You have got the third report, and nothing was done. Nothing was triggered in the task force.

Now we have your testimony here-I don't know how many pages—and you don't even mention this issue which is of central concern to hundreds of thousands of our citizens. Not even in the preliminary report or even in your ofthanded statements, you don't even talk about it.

Now, how should we believe is the nature of the commitment of the administration on this particular point, when you haven't complied with the existing law and there is absolutely no reference to it in terms of your own kind of opening statement? You talk about many other things, but on this particular issue, in terms of the discrimination provisions, in there there is absolutely no reference to it.

I see my time is up. I find it extremely distressful.

Attorney General THORNBURGH. I would just suggest that there is less utility in carrying out a detailed study of reports that come to no conclusion or reports that are styled preliminary than there are reports such as we received last week, which are more definitive in their nature.

Senator KENNEDY. Well, the statute is quite clear, General. But we will move on from there.

Thank you.

The CHAIRMAN. Senator Simpson.

Senator SIMPSON. I will go ahead, but I think Senator Grassley was here.

The CHAIRMAN. Senator Specter was here earlier. If you would like to yield based on the order of attendance, any way you want to do it.

Senator SIMPSON. Whatever your suggestion was.

The CHAIRMAN. I have become very enamored with seniority. [Laughter.]

Senator SIMPSON. Well, so have I.

Senator GRASSLEY. I will take you up on that, because I will be ahead of Specter, then.

The CHAIRMAN. That is right.

Senator SIMPSON. Well, when Arlen gets to you, it will be too late.

The CHAIRMAN. Any way you all want to figure it out on that side.

OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR SIMPSON Senator SIMPSON. I appreciate that. I am appreciative. I have some other things, as we all do.

First of all, I want to thank you for being here and being so accessible to us for several hours, a couple hours, 3 hours. I think that is very important. And I admire that very much, indeed.

I have been listening with interest to some of the questions asked. The death penalty, obviously that is a great bone of contention between the chairman and the ranking member as to what that is, what we are going to do there, and when we are going to deal with it on the floor of the Senate. And we will be doing that. But I think a crucial factor in all of that is the existence of any and all mitigating factors, and under the Thurmond approach there are extensive mitigating factors that must be considered, should be considered. The list is not exclusive but certainly open for addition for others. That is, I think, what we must do.

Let me just ask you on that issue, Is there any reason to believe that a defendant's age or mental competency would not be considered as strong mitigating factors under the Thurmond bill?

Attorney General THORNBURGH. I think the point that I was trying to make, perhaps inartistically, is that it is very difficult to categorize in the abstract a structure of consideration of the death penalty that, as you point out, takes into account a whole series of aggravating and mitigating circumstances. It is individuals who in particularly egregious cases come before the court for sentencing and for consideration by the jury as to whether a death penalty is appropriate. And certainly mental capacity, age, a whole variety of other circumstances would be considered in any particular case. That is why it is difficult to generalize about categories of cases.

Senator SIMPSON. I agree. I think that is very true. I will leave further parts of that to Senator Thurmond and Senator Biden. But I know the chairman mentioned the word “civilized,” and I just would humbly say it is not very civilized to cut somebody up in pieces and go off and have a Big Mac either. I don't think that is very civilized, whether you are 16 or 28. I mean, I think there is a reality here.

Then the death penalty and racism, how we ever got into that sophistry I haven't yet quite determined. But you are either for it or against it. And then to come in with all these loopers from right field is I think not too attractive an adventure to watch.

But we are going to get to the floor with that. We are going to discuss the death penalty and what we do with people who really should not be in society. I know from my experience from practicing law and some first-degree murder trials and so on that that is just exactly the way it is in real life. It may not be the want in your own heart, but that is the way it is.

The CHAIRMAN. Will the Senator yield for a clarification?
Senator SIMPSON. Yes, certainly.
The CHAIRMAN. I am not sure I heard the General's answer.

You suggested whole categories should not be excluded, but I thought the General said the entire category of juvenile offenders should be excluded. So I guess he is engaging in an exercise.

I
Senator SIMPSON. I don't know. Ask him.

The CHAIRMAN. Is that right? The whole category of juvenile offenders should be excluded.

Attorney General THORNBURGH. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. No death for any juvenile. Is that right?
Attorney General THORNBURGH. That is right.

The CHAIRMAN. That is the administration's position. OK. I just wanted to make sure.

Senator SIMPSON. Well, what is your definition of a juvenile?
Attorney General THORNBURGH. Persons under the age of 18.

Each report, not the last report. Each report.

Now, the preliminary report was over a year ago, in the fall of 1988, that made a preliminary finding of discrimination. You have got the third report, and nothing was done. Nothing was triggered in the task force.

Now we have your testimony here—I don't know how many pages—and you don't even mention this issue which is of central concern to hundreds of thousands of our citizens. Not even in the preliminary report or even in your offhanded statements, you don't even talk about it.

Now, how should we believe is the nature of the commitment of the administration on this particular point, when you haven't complied with the existing law and there is absolutely no reference to it in terms of your own kind of opening statement? You talk about many other things, but on this particular issue, in terms of the discrimination provisions, in there there is absolutely no reference to it.

I see my time is up. I find it extremely distressful.

Attorney General THORNBURGH. I would just suggest that there is less utility in carrying out a detailed study of reports that come to no conclusion or reports that are styled preliminary than there are reports such as we received last week, which are more definitive in their nature.

Senator KENNEDY. Well, the statute is quite clear, General. But we will move on from there.

Thank you.

The CHAIRMAN. Senator Simpson.

Senator SIMPSON. I will go ahead, but I think Senator Grassley was here.

The CHAIRMAN. Senator Specter was here earlier. If you would like to yield based on the order of attendance, any way you want to do it.

Senator SIMPSON. Whatever your suggestion was.

The CHAIRMAN. I have become very enamored with seniority. [Laughter.]

Senator SIMPSON. Well, so have I.

Senator GRASSLEY. I will take you up on that, because I will be ahead of Specter, then.

The CHAIRMAN. That is right.

Senator SIMPSON. Well, when Arlen gets to you, it will be too late.

The CHAIRMAN. Any way you all want to figure it out on that

side.

OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR SIMPSON Senator SIMPSON. I appreciate that. I am appreciative. I have some other things, as we all do.

First of all, I want to thank you for being here and being so accessible to us for several hours, a couple hours, 3 hours. I think that is very important. And I admire that very much, indeed.

I have been listening with interest to some of the questions asked. The death penalty, obviously that is a great bone of contention between the chairman and the ranking member as to what that is, what we are going to do there, and when we are going to deal with it on the floor of the Senate. And we will be doing that. But I think a crucial factor in all of that is the existence of any and all mitigating factors, and under the Thurmond approach there are extensive mitigating factors that must be considered, should be considered. The list is not exclusive but certainly open for addition for others. That is, I think, what we must do.

Let me just ask you on that issue, Is there any reason to believe that a defendant's age or mental competency would not be considered as strong mitigating factors under the Thurmond bill?

Attorney General THORNBURGH. I think the point that I was trying to make, perhaps inartistically, is that it is very difficult to categorize in the abstract a structure of consideration of the death penalty that, as you point out, takes into account a whole series of aggravating and mitigating circumstances. It is individuals who in particularly egregious cases come before the court for sentencing and for consideration by the jury as to whether a death penalty is appropriate. And certainly mental capacity, age, a whole variety of other circumstances would be considered in any particular case. That is why it is difficult to generalize about categories of cases.

Senator SIMPSON. I agree. I think that is very true. I will leave further parts of that to Senator Thurmond and Senator Biden. But I know the chairman mentioned the word “civilized," and I just would humbly say it is not very civilized to cut somebody up in pieces and go off and have a Big Mac either. I don't think that is very civilized, whether you are 16 or 28. I mean, I think there is a reality here.

Then the death penalty and racism, how we ever got into that sophistry I haven't yet quite determined. But you are either for it or against it. And then to come in with all these loopers from right field is I think not too attractive an adventure to watch.

But we are going to get to the floor with that. We are going to discuss the death penalty and what we do with people who really should not be in society. I know from my experience from practicing law and some first-degree murder trials and so on that that is just exactly the way it is in real life. It may not be the want in your own heart, but that is the way it is. The CHAIRMAN. Will the Senator yield for a clarification?

a Senator SIMPSON. Yes, certainly. The CHAIRMAN. I am not sure I heard the General's answer.

You suggested whole categories should not be excluded, but I thought the General said the entire category of juvenile offenders should be excluded. So I guess he is engaging in an exercise.

Senator SIMPSON. I don't know. Ask him.

The CHAIRMAN. Is that right? The whole category of juvenile offenders should be excluded.

Attorney General THORNBURGH. That is right.
The CHAIRMAN. No death for any juvenile. Is that right?
Attorney General THORNBURGH. That is right.

The CHAIRMAN. That is the administration's position. OK. I just wanted to make sure.

Senator SIMPSON. Well, what is your definition of a juvenile?
Attorney General THORNBURGH. Persons under the age of 18.

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