Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Congressional Laws - #1681 - The Congressional Assault on Criminal Justice - Heritage Foundation

If Congress drafts a law and no one can understand it, can individuals be punished for breaking it? Increasingly, to the detriment of all Americans, the answer is yes. Since our nation’s founding, a core principle of our system of justice has been that no citizen should be subjected to criminal punishment for conduct that he did not know was illegal or otherwise wrongful. This principle is embodied in the requirement that the government must prove a defendant acted with intent, or at least knowledge, before subjecting him to criminal punishment. Unfortunately this cornerstone of our criminal justice system has been under assault from Congress in recent decades. According to a new and unprecedented study released jointly today by The Heritage Foundation and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), the 109th Congress alone proposed 446 non-violent criminal offenses, 57 percent of which lacked an adequate guilty-mind requirement. The report, Without Intent: How Congress Is Eroding the Criminal Intent Requirement in Federal Law, also reveals that 23 of those inadequately protective offenses were even enacted into law. Read more......  Very important to read, we still have a long way to go until November elections to protect ourselves from evasive laws.

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