Mr. GORTON. Mr. President, in monitoring the beginning of this debate, a set of lyrics from a source that I usually do not use came to mind as a bit of advice for the distinguished Senator from Delaware. These lyrics come from the Rolling Stones: `You can't always get what you want. But if you try real hard you just might find, you just mind find, you get what you need.'
Now, Mr. President, the conferees have tried real hard. They have tried real hard and I think indisputably, they have produced a bill that we very, very much need.
Most of this afternoon, however, has been spent pointing out the bill's shortcomings, elements that the Senator from Delaware or the Senator from Georgia or, for that matter, the Senator from Utah wish were in the bill but are not. Certainly, this bill is not everything that the Senator from Delaware wishes, but it does contain a lot of what he thinks is constructive. Even he admits, and I think I am quoting correctly, it is a `useful, if frail' antiterrorism bill.
Senator Hatch, the distinguished Senator from Utah, has already outlined the positive steps in connection with a campaign against terrorism which are included in the conference report that is before the Senate now. I will not take up the time of the Senate simply by repeating them now. What we are faced with in the course of the current debate, however, is the question of whether or not we should reject what the conference committee has done, send it back, and ask that the committee effectively start all over again.
This conference committee has labored long enough. I do not believe that the Senator from Utah has left anything on the table. I do not think that he walked away having omitted anything from this bill that his very best efforts and the help of other Senate Members in both parties could possibly have gotten included for us to make better an already fine proposition.
What we have here is a meaningful antiterrorism bill, one that will make the law better than it is at the present time, one that will help the President and our Federal law enforcement officers by adding to the tools to deal with a new, highly regrettable situation with which our society is faced.
But there is something else in this bill, Mr. President. That something else is highly controversial, something that I believe the President of the United States would just as soon not have in it, something that I think a number of other Members wish were not a part of this bill. Something, however, that I think is particularly important. That is the reform of our entire habeas corpus procedures in connection with the conviction for serious crimes.
Doing something about a flawed habeas corpus system has been discussed in this Senate since I began serving here over a decade ago. We finally have an opportunity this evening in connection with this bill to do something positive about it.
I believe that the Senator from Delaware has complained that habeas corpus reform is not relevant to an antiterrorism bill. Just as an aside, Mr. President, I find it a charming argument coming from the side of the aisle which insists on our voting on Social Security amendments and minimum wage amendments as a part of the debate over immigration. I am tempted to say that we might have stronger rules of relevance in connection with all of our debates. Be that as it may, I am convinced that habeas corpus is relevant to a bill with respect to terrorism.
Mr. President, to deal effectively with any criminal challenge, we must have effective, clear, and cogent criminal statutes. We must have strong and skilled law enforcement officers to enforce those statutes and to arrest people who violate them. It is also absolutely vital, Mr. President, that when we do so, that when our system of justice has moved from apprehension through trial and conviction, that the people of the United States have a degree of confidence in the finality of those convictions after appropriate appeals, and that the punishments prescribed in those statutes will actually be carried out. That is an area, a field in which we have been a significant failure, Mr. President, because of the almost unlimited nature of our habeas corpus provisions.
We talk of doing something about terrorism and the fear it instills because the people of the United States lack trust and confidence in their criminal justice system and feel unsafe on their streets, at least in part because they see delay after delay, appeal after appeal, a total lack of finality, thousands of dollars after thousands of dollars going into the endless delays in the execution of sentences, particularly related to capital punishment.
Now, reforming habeas corpus is vitally important in that connection, Mr. President, and not just with respect to antiterrorism legislation, but with respect to all of the other serious crimes principally contained in our State and Federal criminal codes.
Let us move from the abstract to the concrete for just a few moments. I would like to remind my colleagues of the subject on which I have spoken a number of times in the course of the last Congress--one particular case in the State of Washington, which illustrates the frustration that our people feel with a system of endless appeals.
Charles Campbell was tried and sent to jail for the rape of a particular woman in a county just north of Seattle, WA. When he was on work release he went back to the home of this woman and murdered her, together with her 8-year-old daughter and a neighbor who just happened to be in the way. In 1982, he was charged with capital murder for those offenses and convicted. By 1984, that conviction had gone through the entire State court system, and the conviction and sentence had been affirmed by the Supreme Court for the State of Washington. From 1984 to 1994, Mr. President--10 additional years--57 separate actions were taken in the Federal courts of the United States--a first direct appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States, which was turned down, followed by innumerable petitions for habeas corpus and appeals from various orders in those habeas corpus petitions.
Remember, Mr. President, that even after a capital case has gone through all of its State court appeals and has been appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States, which has either affirmed it or failed to act, a single Federal district court judge can interrupt the process. That single judge can make a determination that all of the previous judges were wrong and send the case back to the State courts. More frequent than that, of course, is that the single Federal court judge, and then a circuit court of appeals, and perhaps then, again, the Supreme Court of the United States, finds nothing in error in these processes and affirms the State court decisions, at which point the process often starts over again with the filing of another petition for habeas corpus.
That, Mr. President, more than any other single factor, I think, has caused the people of the United States to lose an important degree of faith in their criminal justice system.
A reform of that system, not to deny a right of appeal, but in effect--except under extraordinary circumstances--to give only a single bite at the apple through the Federal court system, is the subject of the habeas corpus provisions that have been shepherded through both Houses of Congress by the distinguished Senator from Utah.
It is my opinion, Mr. President, that these provisions complement, and are as important, or more important, than the strictly antiterrorism elements of this legislation. It is my opinion that the more strictly antiterrorism provisions of this legislation are themselves important. I find myself in agreement with all of those here, and I think that includes every Member of the Senate who has spoken on this subject, that we ought to do better, that we ought to have more antiterrorism legislation. I think it very unlikely that that is going to happen in the course of this Congress.
As I have said before, I think the Senator from Utah got everything out of this conference committee that he could get, and the effect of a motion to recommit would simply be that we would either have no legislation on this subject, or this identical legislation, which is important, would be delayed.
Delays have already been too long, Mr. President. I sincerely hope that the Members of the Senate will reject a motion to recommit and will promptly pass this legislation. The House is certain to do the same. We will, when the President has signed it, move forward on two distinct but related fields--significant progress with respect to antiterrorism, and significant progress with respect to reforming our habeas corpus system. For that, the Senator from Utah, and all who have worked on this legislation, deserve our grateful thanks and the thanks of the American people.
Mr. BIDEN. Mr. President, I am sure my friend from Washington is aware that these are Federal offenses we are creating here. They have nothing to do with State habeas corpus. He is aware of that, is he not?
Mr. GORTON. Yes. I think the Senator from Washington said when the Senator from Delaware was off the floor that he regards it as rather touching that the Senator from Delaware wants to make sure everything we do is relevant to Federal antiterrorism legislation, when I believe he has been supporting the proposition on the other side of the aisle that immigration legislation should carry Social Security amendments with it and a number of other subjects of that sort.
This legislation is, of course, dealing with Federal statutes and with Federal courts. Habeas corpus legislation, of course, deals primarily with State laws and State convictions, but with the interference by the Federal courts in those procedures.
If the Senator would further yield a moment, I ask unanimous consent that a chronology of the Campbell case be printed in the Record.
There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:
April 14, 1982: Campbell beats and murders Renae Wickland, in her Clearview, WA home, then beats and murders Wickland's 8-year-old daughter, along with a neighbor who stopped by the home.
November 26, 1982: Campbell is convicted of aggravated first degree murder in Snohomish County Superior Court.
December 17, 1982: Campbell is sentenced to death in Snohomish County Superior Court.
November 6, 1984: Washington State Supreme Court affirms Campbell's conviction and sentence.
April 29, 1985: The United States Supreme Court denies Campbell's request to hear an appeal of his conviction.
July 22, 1985: Campbell files an appeal in federal district court.
February 16, 1986: Federal district court denies Campbell's appeal after an evidentiary hearing.
February 18, 1986: Campbell appeals to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
October 6, 1987: The Ninth Circuit Court affirms the district court's decision denying Campbell's appeal.
June 8, 1988: The State of Washington moves to remove the stay on Campbell's execution.
July 10, 1988: Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denies the state's request.
August 19, 1988: Campbell appeals his case again to the United States Supreme Court.
November 7, 1988: The U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear Campbell's appeal.
November 8, 1988: State of Washington files motion to move forward with execution of Campbell.
December 6, 1988: State Supreme Court agrees with State's motion, denying the stay of execution.
January 25, 1989: Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agrees with State Supreme Court, dissolving the stay of execution.
February 15, 1989: Snohomish County Superior Court issues a death warrant for Campbell's execution for March 30, 1989.
March 7, 1989: Campbell files appeal with State Supreme Court and a motion to stay the execution. In both documents he raises several unsupported challenges to hanging as a method of execution.
March 23, 1989: The State Supreme Court unanimously rejects all of Campbell's challenes against hanging and denies his motion to stay the execution. The court concludes that none of his issues warrant further consideration.
March 24, 1989: Federal District Court Judge John Coughenour, anticipating another appeal by Campbell in federal court, summons attorneys for both sides into his chambers to discuss the matter. Upon learning from Campbell's attorneys that they intended to file an appeal the following Monday, March 27, the judge calls for an evidentiary hearing that day and in no way limits the issues that Campbell and his attorneys will be allowed to raise. The judge also orders Campbell and his former trial attorney to be present regarding Campbell's claim of ineffective counsel.
March 27, 1989: Campbell files another appeal and, at the evidentiary hearing, raises three issues regarding hanging: (1) hanging will deprive him of constitutional right against cruel and unusual punishment; (2) the state has no one qualified to perform the hanging; and (3) having to choose between execution by lethal injection or hanging violates his protection against cruel and unusual punishment and his First Amendment freedom of religion. Campbell and his attorneys offer no evidence to substantiate these issues and he again claims he was represented by ineffective counsel. Later that day, Judge Coughenour rejects Campbell's charges against hanging, and denies his motion to stay the execution.
March 28, 1989: Campbell appeals Judge Coughenour's denial to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Ninth Circuit stays Campbell's execution, pending the appeal.
June 27, 1989: Attorneys for the State and for Campbell present oral argument to the Ninth Circuit Court.
February 21, 1991: The Ninth Circuit orders the withdrawal of Campbell's latest appeal, pending responses by the attorneys on the question of whether Campbell has exhausted all legal avenues in state court.
March 4, 1991: The State responds to the 2/21/91 order, demonstrating that Campbell has exhausted all other state remedies.
June 3, 1991: Campbell's attorneys inform the State Supreme Court that they intend to file another appeal. This will be his third separate appeal.
August 7, 1991: The Ninth Circuit grants Campbell's request to discharge his attorney, and delays its ruling on other issues, pending review of Campbell's new appeal, which has not yet been filed.
September 13, 1991: Campbell files his third appeal.
October 25, 1991: Bypassing the Ninth Circuit, the State asks the U.S. Supreme Court to compel the Ninth Circuit to resolve Campbell's earlier appeal (not the third appeal filed on 9/13/91).
January 13, 1992: The U.S. Supreme Court denies the State's request to compel the Ninth Circuit to rule on Campbell's appeal, but indicates the State may make additional requests 'if unnecessary delays or unwarranted stays' occur in the Ninth Circuit's handling of the Campbell case.
March 9, 1992: The U.S. District Court dismisses Campbell's third appeal filed on 9/13/91.
April 1, 1992: The Ninth Circuit Court affirms the district court's denial of Campbell's earlier appeal (not the appeal denied by the district court on 3/9/92).
April 22, 1992: The State asks the Ninth Circuit to allow Campbell's execution to move forward and to conduct an expedited review of Campbell's third appeal (the appeal filed on 9/13/91).
May 5, 1992: The Ninth Circuit denies both requests by the state.
May 14, 1992: The State asks the Ninth Circuit to reconsider both of its May 5 rulings.
May 15, 1992: Campbell's attorney and Campbell himself ask the Ninth Circuit Court for a rehearing.
June 4, 1992: Campbell's attorney files legal brief in Campbell's third appeal.
December 24, 1992: The Ninth Circuit affirm's the district court's denial of Campbell's third appeal.
January 20, 1993: The Ninth Circuit hears oral arguments on Campbell's second appeal.
January 26, 1993: The Ninth Circuit grants a request by Campbell's attorney for a rehearing of Campbell's third appeal, the denial of which the court affirmed on 12/24/92.
January 29, 1993: The Ninth Circuit, in its reconsideration of Campbell's second appeal, orders attorneys for Campbell and the State to submit written arguments on whether hanging is cruel and unusual punishment, and whether an evidentiary hearing should be held in federal district court on the issue of hanging.
April 28, 1993: The Ninth Circuit orders Campbell's case back to federal district court for an evidentiary hearing on whether hanging is cruel and unusual punishment.
May 4, 1993: The State asks the Ninth Circuit to reconsider its April 28 order.
May 7, 1993: The Ninth Circuit denies the State's request.
May 10, 1993: The State appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court, asking it to set aside the evidentiary hearing in federal district court and to require the Ninth Circuit court to rule on whether hanging violates the Constitution.
May 14, 1993: Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor issues a four-page chamber opinion indicating a single high court justice does not have the authority to overrule an order by the Ninth Circuit. She cites the 'glacial progress' of the Campbell case and dismisses the State's appeal 'without prejudice,' leaving open the door for the state to press its case before the full Supreme Court.
May 17, 1993: The State appeals the Ninth Circuit order to the full Supreme Court.
May 24-26, 1993: Judge Coughenour conducts an evidentiary hearing on whether hanging is cruel and unusual punishment.
June 1, 1993: The U.S. Supreme Court denies without comment the State's request to vacate the Ninth Circuit's order to conduct the evidentiary hearing.
June 1, 1993: Judge Coughenour issues his findings and conclusions, ruling that Washington's judicial hanging protocol fully comports with the Constitution and does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment.
February 8, 1994: The Ninth Circuit rules 6-5 that hanging does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment and that being forced to choose death by lethal injection, or face death by hanging does not violate Campbell's constitutional rights. The ruling states that the stay of execution will be lifted and the mandate ordering the execution will be issued 21 judicial days following the order.
February 15, 1994: Attorney General Christine O. Gregoire files a motion with the Ninth Circuit to lift the stay of execution. Attorneys for Campbell also file motions to continue the stay of execution and to request reconsideration of the Ninth Circuit's February 8 ruling by the full Circuit Court.
March 21, 1994: After waiting more than one month for the 9th Circuit to act on her motion, Attorney General Gregoire asks the U.S. Supreme Court to remove the stay of execution. Also on this date, the U.S. Supreme Court rejects Campbell's appeal for a hearing on his third habeas petition.
March 25, 1994: Justice Sandra Day O'Connor refuses to lift the stay of execution.
March 28, 1994: This date marks the fifth anniversary of the stay of execution imposed by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
April 14, 1994: This date marks the 12th anniversary of the three murders committed by Campbell.
April 14, 1994: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals lifts stay of execution.
April 15, 1994: State sets May 27, 1994 executive date.
May 3, 1994: Campbell asks U.S. Supreme Court to stay execution and rule on claim that hanging is an unconstitutional method of execution.
May 27, 1994: Campbell is executed.
Mr. BIDEN. Mr. President, once again, my friend misses the point. I am not objecting to the State portion being put in here. That is not relevant. It has nothing to do with terrorism. It is not going to affect the bill. My colleague talks about this having an impact on terrorism. I believe we should reform State habeas corpus. We should, and it is appropriate to do it in this bill, as long as my friend from Washington does not have any illusions that he can go back and tell the people of Washington that by effecting State habeas corpus he has done something about terrorism. That is the point. It is relevant, just not relevant to stopping terrorism.
The second point I will make--and then I will make my motion--is that people have been asking me about time. I am willing to enter into a time agreement. There are a maximum of a possible 14 motions. I doubt whether they will all be used. I am prepared to agree to one-half hour, equally divided, and to a time certain to vote tomorrow, or tonight, or whenever anybody wants to vote on it. So I want everybody to know that. I understand we may be trying to work that out now.
Mr. HATCH. If the Senator will yield, that would be fine with me--one-half hour equally divided. I am prepared to go and get it done. This is that important. The President has asked for it. He said he wants it as quickly as we can do it. We have all week, but we might as well find out whether we can do it at all. I believe we can, and with cooperation we can get this done. I am happy to cooperate and do it that way--just go bing, bing, bing, from here on out.
Mr. BIDEN. I have no objection to keep going now. That is a call of the leadership. That is up to them. In the meantime, while we are figuring out how long we are going to go----
Mr. HATCH. If the Senator will yield, we need to see what all the motions are. We need to know what those are. We would appreciate that.
Mr. BIDEN. I would be happy to do that.