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    Felony Shrub-Trimming: San Diego Man Criminally Charged for Pruning Plants

    The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office filed felony vandalism charges against 46-year-old Ocean Beach, California, resident Juvencio Adame for “defacement, damage and destruction” of public property in excess of $400. Felony charges can result in significant prison time. His “crime”? Trimming shrubbery next to his home. What would possess … More

    “Help Make It Stop”: Victims Testify About How Overcriminalization Ruins Lives

    This story has been removed based on new information that came to The Foundry’s attention.

    Morning Bell: Fighting Back Against Arbitrary Government Rule

    Abner Schoenwetter had been in the commercial seafood business since 1986. Over the years, Schoenwetter built a successful company distributing seafood across the country, including lobster tails imported from overseas. As far as Schoenwetter knew, all of his business transactions were perfectly legal and he had no reason to believe … More

    One Nation Under Arrest: The End of the Pocket Knife

    Chapter 5 of One Nation Under Arrest is titled “Criminalizing Kids.” This chapter includes stories demonstrating that it is not just adults who face the dangers of overcriminalization. The prevailing mindset among most legislators and government policy makers is that criminal law and criminal punishment are generally the best tools … More

    The Unlimited Prosecution Act Goes on Trial

    This afternoon, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Skilling v. U.S. Most media coverage so far seems to be focusing on former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling’s request for an entirely new trial based on claims that the District Court where he was convicted failed to ensure an impartial … More

    A Double Standard on Inaugural Tickets

    Let’s say you decide tomorrow that you want to attend the inauguration the week after next. And let’s assume that, like most Americans, you do not have any political ‘in’ with the new administration or any of the congressional offices handing tickets out to donors and supporters. What are your … More

    Will the New Congress Hastily Create New Criminal Risks for Americans?

    (Post by Heritage Senior Legal Research Fellow Brian Walsh) A new year, a new Congress, and already the march of overcriminalization is underway. Without engaging this Congress in debate or meaningful committee oversight, Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY) is trying to ram through legislation–the Presidential Library Donation Reform Act of 2009 … More

    MySpace Trial Sets a Dangerous Precedent

    Jury selection begins today in the trial of Lori Drew, indicted by federal prosecutors for using false information to create a MySpace account. Yes, that’s right: she’s not charged (pdf) with “cyber-bullying” or harassment or even causing the death of Megan Meier, the teen who committed suicide after she received … More

    Online Anonymity? Go Directly to Jail

    Forget the over-hyped bogeymen net neutrality and the ever-more-omniscient Googleplex. The real threat to Internet freedom comes from plain old criminal law. In three weeks time, Missouri housewife Lori Drew will face trial for entering false personal details when she signed up for a MySpace account. Her indictment alone, whether … More