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Author Topic: typical American professional commits an average of three federal crimes a day  (Read 1037 times)

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feedmeliberty

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Boston area author....

http://www.threefeloniesaday.com/

In his new book, Three Felonies a Day, attorney Harvey Silverglate holds that the typical American professional commits an average of three federal crimes a day, just going about their daily business, without even realizing it. And the only thing keeping them out of prison — make that keeping you out of prison — is the fact that federal prosecutors haven’t looked at you yet. “No social class or profession is safe from this troubling form of social control by the executive branch,” reads a statement on the book’s Web site, “and nothing less than the integrity of our constitutional democracy hangs in the balance.”

While Three Felonies a Day illustrates the problem quite well, today I want to talk about solutions. Likely you have never thought you needed to protect yourself from the government. But you probably weren’t aware that so many federal laws are “impossibly broad and vague” that you were a “criminal” several times over today, just for going to work, picking up your kids, and eating dinner. Moreover, the concept of criminal intent has been largely removed from the law, so you can be imprisoned even if you had no idea what you were doing was against the law.

    Under the English common law we inherited, a crime requires intent. This protection is disappearing in the U.S. As Mr. Silverglate writes, “Since the New Deal era, Congress has delegated to various administrative agencies the task of writing the regulations,” even as “Congress has demonstrated a growing dysfunction in crafting legislation that can in fact be understood.” Prosecutors identify defendants to go after instead of finding a law that was broken and figuring out who did it. Expect more such prosecutions as Washington adds regulations. — Wall Street Journal

One of the most powerful solutions against the sorts of miscarriages of justice that land people like you in prison is privacy. Privacy makes it much harder for an overzealous prosecutor to spin your perfectly innocent activities into “crimes.” Not to mention it also provides protection against the more mundane threats of identity thieves, psychotic ex-spouses, and so on.
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