A real threat to our constitutional framework of criminal justice.
Judge Kozinski’s harsh rebuke of the federal prosecutors:
This case has consumed an inordinate amount of taxpayer resources, and has no doubt devastated the defendant’s personal and professional life. And, in the end, the government couldn’t prove that the defendant engaged in any criminal conduct. This is just one of a string of recent cases in which courts have found that federal prosecutors overreached by trying to stretch criminal law beyond its proper bounds…
Judge Kozinski’s words do much to accentuate a very real problem that is currently undermining the civil liberties of all Americans – the phenomenon of over-criminalization. The exponential growth of the federal criminal law over the last few decades has created a labyrinthine collection of statutes and regulations that allows the government to subject individuals whose conduct is either unintentional or not otherwise blameworthy to criminal sanctions – society’s most severe form of punishment and moral condemnation. This is a fundamental departure from the traditional moorings of American criminal law, and one that has garnered great attention from organizations and individuals on both sides of the political aisle.
To that end, Members of Congress (new and old alike) would be well served to take on the problem of overcriminalization and consider the common-sense, non-partisan solutions offered by Heritage and NACDL in their joint Without Intent report. Former Attorney General Ed Meese discussed one such reform here – a House rule requiring every bill that proposes or modifies a federal crime to be referred to the House Judiciary Committee before heading to the floor. Working to implement that change and the handful of other reform proposals discussed in Without Intent will go a long way toward eliminating the problems highlighted by Judge Kozinski and tempering a real threat to our constitutional framework of criminal justice.
Contemptible police tactics - Cops raid the home of a licensed medical marijuana provider in Washington, handcuff the fourteen year old son and put a gun to his head, and search the nineteen year old daughter and take the contents of her mickey-mouse wallet.
How To Survive Traffic Stops in America, Submit, Instantly! - What the cops want is immediate obedience and submission. Many cops are ex-military and view the civilian motorists of America about like they viewed the hapless peasants of Iraq and Afghanistan, that is, with contempt, not as fellow citizens deserving of civility and respect. It is a possibly lethal mistake to do anything other than submit, instantly and obey! Or be ready to shoot first. But aim high.