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    Senate's Public Corruption Move Raises Overcriminalization Concerns

    The Senate is currently considering the addition of a public corruption bill as an amendment to the STOCK Act.  While the goal of reining in public corruption is laudable, as has been discussed before, many of the policies in the proposed amendment raise significant overcriminalization concerns. Heritage, a task force … More

    No Need to Muddy Criminal Law in Order to "Clean Up Government"

    With their institution at all-time lows in public popularity and trust, it is no wonder that members of Congress are looking to improve the body’s image.  The “Clean Up Government Act,” which is coming before the House Judiciary Committee this week, is one of the most prominent attempts to do … More

    VIDEO: Gibson Guitar CEO Blasts Obama for Federal Raid, Persecution

    Gibson Guitar is an American icon. Musicians ranging from blues legend B.B. King to rock stars with Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith have used its guitars. Today, however, the guitar maker is facing a high-profile persecution from its own government. The U.S. Justice Department is pursuing a case that smacks of … More

    Top 10 Reads: Oct. 5th, 2011

    Catching you up on clips, commentary and news of the day. Sign up for the daily email update from Scribe. Ambrose: Federal law will get you even if you watch out – Jay Ambrose, Scripps Howard News Service Issa: Postal Service Must Cut Workers – Newsmax Wires Russia Pledges to … More

    Gibson Guitar Plays the Overcriminalization Blues

    Do you know all the laws of the United States?  Do you know all the laws of each of the 50 states (not to mention the assorted territories, Indian reservations, and other enclaves)?  Probably not.  And yet “ignorance of the law is no excuse” has been a maxim of criminal … More

    For Proponents of More Federal Criminal Legislation, Ignorance of the Law Is Bliss

    Animal rights activists and commercial fisherman may find little common ground, but both can share their plight as victims of overcriminalization.  The front page story in the Wall Street Journal juxtaposes these often-at-odds groups because they are vulnerable to the problems of overbroad and ambiguous legislation… along with the rest … More

    The Worst Thing that Anybody Can Do to You is Take Away Your Freedom

    How much danger does the federal government’s unprincipled, out-of-control body of criminal law pose to, say, the average American small-business person?  Well, suppose you were a small-business owner, and for twelve years both U.S. Customs and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had been inspecting the shipments of seafood … More

    Overcriminalization Victimizes Animal-Loving 11-Year-Old and Her Mother

    Last month, a hyper-aggressive U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent, accompanied by a Virginia state trooper, arrived at Alison Capo’s door to announce that our friendly federal government intended to make her a federal criminal. The reason? Alison’s daughter Skylar rescued a woodpecker from being eaten by a cat. The … More

    Wall Street Journal Exposes Federal Overcriminalization

    Aspiring inventor Krister Evertson received a two-year sentence for allegedly abandoning materials that he had stored in sealed, stainless-steel containers, thus doing no harm to the environment.  Indianapolis 500 champion Bobby Unser was prosecuted and convicted because federal prosecutors estimated that he and his snowmobiling companion wandered into a national … More

    Criminalization without Justification

    The Wall Street Journal this weekend documented several sad features of the federal government’s proliferation of poorly written criminal laws, many of which leave it to prosecutors to pick and choose which Americans to prosecute as criminals. The Journal chronicles the stories of a half dozen Americans who became the … More