Can you believe abandoning a snowmobile in a life-threatening blizzard or digging up arrowheads can result in criminal charges?
These are a few unfortunate examples of “overcriminalization.”
New criminal laws that do not include a criminal intent requirement and the duplication of federal criminal laws that already exist at the state level have made it impossible for reasonable citizens to know all the criminal laws and regulations that could land them in jail or prison.
After years of blowing the whistle on overcriminalization, Justice Fellowship is pleased to report a great step forward from Washington! On May 6, the House Judiciary Committee approved the creation of a task force on overcriminalization.
Over the past three decades, Congress has been averaging 500 new crimes per decade. At present, there are an estimated 4,500 federal crimes in the U.S. Code, many of which address conduct also regulated by the states. Additionally, there are an estimated 100,000-300,000 federal regulations that may carry criminal penalties. The House Judiciary Committee recognizes that it’s time to repair the decades of damage resulting from hastily creating new crimes.
The task force will include eight Congressmen, led by Subcommittee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) and Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-Va.).
Justice Fellowship is looking forward to serving the task force as it tackles overcriminalization and proposes solutions in the coming months. Stay tuned!