Sunday, June 12, 2011

Are You A Federal Criminal? Are You SURE?

Maybe you think you're not a Fed criminal.

You could be---but you just don't know it.

Today, [the average American] is far more vulnerable than ever before to being caught up in a criminal investigation and prosecution -- and to actually being convicted and punished as a criminal -- for having done something he did not even suspect was illegal.

Criminal law has changed in the last 50 years. Once criminal law was about criminal acts that everyone knew were inherently unlawful (like murder, rape and robbery).

. . .

Today, the criminal law has grown as broad as the regulatory state in its sheer size and scope. In 1998, an American Bar Association task force estimated that there were more than 3,000 federal criminal offenses scattered throughout the 50 titles of the United States Code. Just six years later, a leading expert on the overcriminalization problem, Professor John S. Baker, Jr., published a study estimating that the number exceeded 4,000. As the ABA task force reported, the body of federal criminal law is “[s]o large… that there is no conveniently accessible, complete list of federal crimes.” --Ed Meese, quoted at RenMan

Maybe selling bunnies and un-pasteurized milk is also criminal.

Or spitting on the sidewalk.

1 comment:

Gregory said...