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We’re All Felons Now

30 September 2011 @ 10:48

The unrestricted proliferation of new criminal laws proceeds apace [along with the militarization of law enforcement, but that's an issue for another posting], as Quin Hillyer documents in one of his latest postings over at the Center For Individual Freedom:

Finally, some front-page attention to a major, and frightening, American problem!

Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal featured an in-depth look at how federal laws increasingly apply criminal penalties for violations involving no mens rea, roughly translated as a “guilty mind.” The stricture against criminal penalties for unwitting violations is an age-old, bedrock legal principle. Alas, in today’s dangerously armed, bureaucratic super-state, ancient legal principles go by the wayside when politicians pretend to be “tough on crime” and when officious civil “servants” indulge their fetishes for power.

U.S. governments at every level these days are prone to “overcriminalization,” which means turning ordinary activity into violations of the law, turning what should be civil violations into criminal ones, and applying penalties far harsher than should be warranted.

Law-abiding American citizens are being arrested and prosecuted for ‘crimes’ that do not pass the Common Sense Test.

As Quin writes:

The overproliferation of federal criminal laws and regulations (the U.S. system was designed to keep most criminal statutes at the state and local level), combined with the extreme weakening of mens rea requirements, now means that ordinary Americans on average commit “three felonies a day.” That is the conclusion of noted lawyer Harvey Silverglate, whose 2009 book of that title makes the point that all of us, without ill intent, act in our everyday lives in numerous ways that are “potentially criminal.”

Ordinary life should not be treated as a criminal conspiracy.

This is insantity, topped with a heaping helping of absurdity.

This is the result of Leftist Thinking being normalized.

This is also part of the Leftist strategy for gaining more power and control: the more parts of ordinary life a government criminalizes, the more power they have over individuals. The threat of prosecution [a threat both financial and psychological] is a cudgel that can be wielded to great effect to control behavior.

Please do take the time to click here and read the whole article [which also shows that the GOP Leadership in the Congress shares a good chunk of the blame].

  1. 30 September 2011 @ 14:58 14:58

    Great post Bob! I know I hear of this shit going on locally so others must also in their locals and it amazes me more are not rising-up against such blatant tyranny?

  2. Adobe Walls permalink
    30 September 2011 @ 18:51 18:51

    This will get much uglier before it is resolved.

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