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  • overcriminalization

    Small Business Owner? You Could Be Unintentionally Breaking the Law

    Today, a growing number of small business owners are unintentionally finding themselves on the wrong side of the law. Under a statute aimed at identifying organized crime, small businesses and farmers are being prosecuted for ordinary business transactions. Fortunately, Congressman Andy Harris (R–MD) is attempting to fix that. The federal … More

    No Joke: Man Jailed for Laughing in Own Home

    A Long Island man is facing 30 days in jail for laughing in his own home, according to The Huffington Post. Forty-two-year-old Robert Schiavelli, who suffers from a mental disability, was cited twice for “disturbing the peace” due to his loud laughter. What was he laughing at? Allegedly, Schiavelli’s neighbor … More

    Man Arrested for Releasing Heart-Shaped Balloons in Romantic Gesture

    Anthony Brasfield, a 40-year-old Florida man, was arrested Sunday for releasing a dozen heart-shaped helium balloons into the air in what was to be a romantic gesture for his girlfriend, according to SunSentinel.com. Brasfield was charged with polluting to harm humans, animals, and plants under the Florida Air and Water … More

    Ten-Year-Old Arrested for Bringing Toy Gun to School

    Last week, a ten-year-old Alexandria, Virginia, boy was arrested and charged with brandishing a weapon, according to The Washington Examiner. This is a very serious charge that will stick with the boy. The “weapon” that the fifth-grader brought to school was a plastic toy gun with a bright orange cap … More

    Morning Bell: Getting a Meddling Government Out of Our Lives

    The next time a cashier asks “paper or plastic?” think of Abbie Schoenwetter. He spent more than six years in federal confinement for shipping lobster in plastic instead of cardboard. There’s no American law against doing so. But thanks to a vague, overly broad, and otherwise unjust federal criminal law, … More

    Overcriminalization Ruins Lives

    The story of the late Dr. Peter Gleason, a Maryland psychiatrist who devoted much of his practice to serving the poor and underserved populations, is a tragic reminder of the real-life impact that overcriminalization can have on individuals. Before a drug can be sold in the United States, it must … More

    Couple Faces Jail Time for Saving Baby Deer's Life (VIDEO)

    An Indiana couple is facing up to 60 days in jail and $2,000 in fines for saving a deer from death. Jeff Counceller, a police officer, and his wife Jennifer spotted an injured baby deer on their neighbor’s porch. Instead of turning a blind eye to the dying fawn, the … More

    Jail Time for Offensive Facebook Postings?

    How many people would be in jail if annoying or offending a person were against the law? The answer: pretty much everyone. If you think that you might be one of these people and you like to send information electronically, there are a few places you should probably avoid. Vernon … More

    Overcriminalization: Jail Time for Charging a Cell Phone, Drying Clothes

    Did you know that you could be put in jail for charging your cell phone? Or for hanging your clothes out to dry? These are just two examples of recent events illustrating the burden that overcriminalization puts on the poorest among us. Late last month, a homeless Floridaman, 28-year-old Darren … More

    Do We Need a New Law to Make Stealing Illegal?

    Everyone agrees that stealing should be a crime. Theft has been an offense in every society that has recognized property rights. Theft was a crime under the English common law; every state outlaws theft today; and theft of federal property (or property in interstate commerce) is a crime under federal … More