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On the Power of the Prosecutor
National Review ^ | 1/18/13 | By Andrew Stuttaford

Posted on 01/18/2013 12:07:46 PM PST by Behind Liberal Lines

A must-read from Radley Balko:

by most estimates, there are at least 4,000 separate criminal laws at the federal level, with another 10,000 to 300,000 regulations that can be enforced criminally. Just this year 400 new federal laws took effect, as did 29,000 new state laws. The civil libertarian and defense attorney Harvey Silverglate has argued that most Americans now unknowingly now commit about three felonies per day.

But you, citizen, are expected to know and comply with all of these laws. That isn’t possible, of course. It would probably take you most of the year to understand them all, at which point you’d have the next year’s batch of new laws to learn. You’d probably also need to hire a team of attorneys to help you translate the laws into terms you can understand. After the McCain-Feingold legislation passed in 2003, for example, both parties held weekly, three-hour classes just to educate members of Congress on how to comply with the bill they had just passed. This is a bill they wrote that applied to themselves, and they still had to bring in high-paid lawyers explain to them how not to break it...

We need to move away from the idea that every act we find immoral, repugnant, or unsavory needs to be criminalized. Every new criminal law gives prosecutors more power. Once we have so many laws that it’s likely we’re all breaking at least one of them, the prosecutor’s job is no longer about enforcing the laws, but about choosing which laws to enforce.

(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS:
“Did you really think we want those laws observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them to be broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against... We're after power and we mean it... There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Reardon, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with.”

― Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

1 posted on 01/18/2013 12:07:48 PM PST by Behind Liberal Lines
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To: Behind Liberal Lines
We need to move away from the idea that every act we find immoral, repugnant, or unsavory needs to be criminalized.

That is the legacy of our generation, moving all social interaction under the control of government - the sign of a generation that cannot handle even the most basic social interactions without help. This is why America has 5 times the population of people in prison than any other generation in history.
2 posted on 01/18/2013 12:12:02 PM PST by microgood
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To: microgood

I think the Soviets did the same thing with laws like that that they did with shortages. The peasants were much easier to control and locate when they had to spend most of their time in line waiting for basic staples- bread, water, milk, flour. Then, the cops can just go stand by the line and monitor everyone or pull them out of line and punish them.


3 posted on 01/18/2013 12:26:23 PM PST by Dr. Pritchett
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

“And what is good and what is not good, Phaedrus, need we ask others to know these things?”

You don’t need to ask. Everyone in the world will tell you.....if it’s to their benefit.


4 posted on 01/18/2013 12:34:45 PM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

No one seems to understand. ALL of these LAWS are of the same type as those created by the Pharisees, so that they could gain more control of the citizenry.

God only gave us 10 laws and we have a difficult time trying to keep those.

What we all truly need is common sense, but that doesn’t seem so common any more. I think it is a gift of God, and since so many are turning away from Him, it is less prevalent.


5 posted on 01/18/2013 12:35:44 PM PST by wizr (Isaiah 7:9 If you do not stand in your faith, you will not stand at all.)
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