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Old 07-24-2011, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Maryland
18,633 posts, read 18,664,933 times
Reputation: 6459

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Scary article. Folks being thrown into prison or forced to launch costly defenses to stay out of prison simply because they violated obscure federal laws they knew nothing about.

Federal Offenses: As U.S. Federal Criminal Laws Proliferate, More Are Ensnared - WSJ.com

Quote:
The U.S. Constitution mentions three federal crimes by citizens: treason, piracy and counterfeiting. By the turn of the 20th century, the number of criminal statutes numbered in the dozens. Today, there are an estimated 4,500 crimes in federal statutes, according to a 2008 study by retired Louisiana State University law professor John Baker.



There are also thousands of regulations that carry criminal penalties. Some laws are so complex, scholars debate whether they represent one offense, or scores of offenses.



Counting them is impossible. The Justice Department spent two years trying in the 1980s, but produced only an estimate: 3,000 federal criminal offenses.
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Old 07-24-2011, 10:11 AM
 
7,137 posts, read 14,167,760 times
Reputation: 2387
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdwardA View Post
Scary article. Folks being thrown into prison or forced to launch costly defenses to stay out of prison simply because they violated obscure federal laws they knew nothing about.

Federal Offenses: As U.S. Federal Criminal Laws Proliferate, More Are Ensnared - WSJ.com

Big government run amok. Makes you want to bolt the doors, draw the curtains and roll up the carpets. Any wonder gun sales are up?
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Old 07-24-2011, 10:20 AM
Status: "UnVaxxed Gas Stove User" (set 21 days ago)
 
42,629 posts, read 23,538,036 times
Reputation: 22551
Where are the neocons and liberals who steadfastly maintain there has been no loss of freedoms in America?
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Old 07-24-2011, 10:25 AM
 
7,137 posts, read 14,167,760 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank DeForrest View Post
Where are the neocons and liberals who steadfastly maintain there has been no loss of freedoms in America?
It's the weekend, man...they are busy inhaling and the bongs are still on the table.
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Old 07-24-2011, 10:28 AM
 
12,436 posts, read 11,513,385 times
Reputation: 3158
I don't think you will find too many liberals who would disagree that there is overcriminalization.
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Old 07-24-2011, 10:34 AM
 
41,817 posts, read 48,575,137 times
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Here's probably the best example in that article. He got 69 months for breaking a law in Honduras. While laws like this are important to protect fisheries 2% of the product of the total shipment that he didn't even pack himself????

That's crazy. Unless there is part of the story we are not hearing there is no criminal intent involved here.

Quote:
According to court records and interviews, Mr. Schoenwetter had been importing lobsters from Honduras since the mid-1980s. In early 1999, federal officials seized a 70,000-pound shipment after a tip that the load violated a Honduran statute setting a minimum size on lobsters that could be caught. Such a shipment, in turn, violated a U.S. law, the Lacey Act, which makes it a felony to import fish or wildlife if it breaks another country's laws. Roughly 2% of the seized shipment was clearly undersized, and records indicated other shipments carried much higher percentages, federal officials said.


In an interview, Mr. Schoenwetter, 65 years old, said he and other buyers routinely accepted a percentage of undersized lobsters since the deliveries from the fishermen inevitably included smaller ones. He also said he didn't believe bringing in some undersized lobsters was illegal, noting that previous shipments had routinely passed through U.S. Customs.


After conviction, Mr. Schoenwetter and three co-defendants appealed, and the Honduran government filed a brief on their behalf saying that Honduran courts had invalidated the undersized-lobster law. By a two-to-one vote, however, a federal appeals panel found the Honduran law valid at the time of the trial and upheld the convictions.
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Old 07-24-2011, 10:38 AM
Status: "UnVaxxed Gas Stove User" (set 21 days ago)
 
42,629 posts, read 23,538,036 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotair2 View Post
I don't think you will find too many liberals who would disagree that there is overcriminalization.
Only where morals are concerned.
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Old 07-24-2011, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Midwest
7,686 posts, read 9,510,510 times
Reputation: 14705
I have written my MCs about this and will again.
These guys are so busy creating more laws that they don't even have a clue about the minefield full of IEDs they have created, or if they do they don't care.
Prosecutors in our nation have gone insane with their unregulated power. Very very rarely are they called to account, as in the transparent case of Mike Nifong.
Johnny Sutton enjoyed sending law enforcement to prison for the smallest misstep.
If prosecutors were sent to prison for the same minor missteps they prosecute innocent, no-criminal-intent citizens, most of them would not be around any more.

Getting the feds to pay attention to this is very difficult. IMO ALL criminal penalties should be removed from the fed books with the exception of the original ones. But as they pick off individual innocents, the great mass doesn't notice that the herd is being culled.

Innocence doesn't matter. Criminal intent doesn't matter. The power to punish matters. Well on our way to a Soviet Union.
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Old 07-24-2011, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Midwest
7,686 posts, read 9,510,510 times
Reputation: 14705
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
Here's probably the best example in that article. He got 69 months for breaking a law in Honduras. While laws like this are important to protect fisheries 2% of the product of the total shipment that he didn't even pack himself????

That's crazy. Unless there is part of the story we are not hearing there is no criminal intent involved here.
That case is utter insanity and IMO all the prosecuting personnel should be prosecuted for Abuse of Citizen.

No real law was violated, except the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence, which apprently don't count any more.
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Old 07-24-2011, 10:58 AM
 
12,436 posts, read 11,513,385 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank DeForrest View Post
Only where morals are concerned.
Almost all criminal laws are based on enforcing some set of moral beliefs. Wake up.
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