Attorney General William French Smith said today he will "move quickly" in evaluating options for the war against crime, including preventive detention and modifications in the controversial "exclusionary rule" on illegally obtained evidence.
Smith said he would receive recommendations next week from a special task force on crime headed by former attorney general Griffin Bell.
In an address to the American Bar Association convention here, Smith said the options being considered by the task force include a new attack on drug trafficking, new laws to provide fair treatment to crime victims and "an increase in federal funding for those activities that would greatly enhance the effectiveness of the nation's criminal justice system."
The task force reportedly will recommend laws allowing preventive detention for federal crimes by giving judges the power to deny bail for suspects considered dangerous.
It also is expected to suggest changes in the laws concerning illegally obtained evidence. The exclusionary rule allows judges to reverse criminal convictions or prevent a defendant from going to trial when police violate the Constitution in gathering evidence.
Vice President Bush also briefly singled out the exclusionary rule in his speech here today.
He said people were frustrated with "the ruthless killer who cleverly avails himself of the exclusionary rule." At a press conference later, however, Bush refused to elaborate.