Federal law now criminalizes activities that the average person would never dream would land him in prison. Consequently, every year, thousands of upstanding, responsible Americans run afoul of some incomprehensible federal law and end up serving time in federal prison.
With all the attention that’s been paid lately to long federal sentences for drug offenders, it’s surprising that a far more troubling phenomenon has barely hit the media’s radar screen. Every year, thousands of upstanding, responsible Americans run afoul of some incomprehensible federal law or regulation and end up serving time in federal prison.
What is especially disturbing is that it could happen to anyone at all–and it has.
We should applaud Reps. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), then, for holding a bipartisan hearing today to examine how federal law can make a criminal out of anyone, for even the most mundane conduct.
Federal law in particular now criminalizes entire categories of activities that the average person would never dream would land him in prison. This is an inevitable result of the fact that the criminal law is no longer restricted to punishing inherently wrongful conduct–such as murder, rape, robbery, and the like.
Moreover, under these new laws, the government can often secure a conviction without having to prove that the person accused even intended to commit a bad act, historically a protection against wrongful conviction.
via You’re (Probably) a Federal Criminal | The Heritage Foundation.
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