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Studies, Research & Commentary

Heritage Foundation on Overcriminalization


The Heritage Foundation says, "Overcriminalization describes the trend to use the criminal law rather than the civil law to solve every problem, to punish every mistake, and to compel compliance with regulatory objectives.  Criminal law should be used only if a person intentionally flouts the law or engages in conduct that is morally blameworthy or dangerous."

The Rutherford Institute
Commentary - The Overcriminalization of America: Are We All Criminals Now?

By John W. Whitehead
August 06, 2012

"Incredibly, Congress has been creating on average 55 new “crimes” per year, bringing the total number of federal crimes on the books to more than 5,000, with as many as 300,000 regulatory crimes. As journalist Radley Balko reports, “that doesn't include federal regulations, which are increasingly being enforced with criminal, not administrative, penalties.”

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