Overcriminalization of Conduct, Overfederalization of Criminal Law, and the Exercise of Enforcement Discretion
1 American Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section, The Federalization of Criminal Law 9 (1998) [hereinafter Federalization of Criminal Law].
2 John S. Baker, Jr., Revisiting the Explosive Growth of Federal Crimes, Heritage Foundation L. Memo. No. 26, June 16, 2008, at 5.
3 Federalization of Criminal Law, supra note 2, at 9 n.11, app. C; See also John C. Coffee, Jr., Does “Unlawful” Mean “Criminal”?: Reflections on the Disappearing Tort/Crime Distinction in American Law, 71 B.U. L. Rev. 193, 216 (1991).
4 See, e.g., U.S. v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549 (1995); U.S. v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 598 (2000).
5 Baker, supra note 3, at 2.
6 John Baker, Revisiting the Explosive Growth of Federal Crimes (Heritage Foundation June 16, 2008), available at: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2008/06/revisiting-the-explosive-growth-of-federal-crimes.
7 Reining in Overcriminalization: Assessing the Problems, Proposing Solutions: Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Crime, Terrorism & Homeland Security of the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 111th Cong. (Sept. 28, 2010) (statement of Abner Schoenwetter), available at: http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/pdf/Schoenwetter100928.pdf.
8 The Innocence Project, When the Innocent Plead Guilty, available at: http://www.innocenceproject.org/Content/When_the_Innocent_Plead_Guilty.php (last visited Jan. 25, 2010).
9 Crimes that are inherently wrong because of the intrinsic immoral nature of the act, such as rape or murder, are considered malum in se, or “wrong in itself.” These are acts that any reasonable person will know are wrong, regardless of whether or not that person knows they are illegal. In contract, acts that are malum prohibitum, or “wrong due to being prohibited,” are those illegal acts that, on their face, would not immediately appear wrong to a reasonable person. For this latter category of crimes, reasonable notice of their illegality is necessary for effective compliance. See, e.g., United States v. Bajakajian, 524 U.S. 321 (1998).
10 John S. Baker, Jr., The Federalist Soc’y for Law & Pub. Policy Studies, Measuring the Explosive Growth of Federal Crime Legislation 10 (2004) available at http://fedsoc.server326.com/Publications/practicegroupnewsletters/criminallaw/crimreportfinal.pdf.
12 See United States v. Hanousek, 176 F.3d 1116, 1120-23 (9th Cir. 1999) (upholding the conviction of an off-duty construction supervisor under the Clean Water Act when one of his employees accidentally ruptured an oil pipeline with a backhoe).
13 University of Buffalo Criminal Law Center, Federal Criminal Code Reform: A Selected Bibliography, available at: http://wings.buffalo.edu/law/bclc/biblio.htm (last visited Jan. 25, 2010).
14 Ronald L. Gainer, Federal Criminal Code Reform: Past and Future 2 Buff. L. Rev. 45 (1998), available at: http://wings.buffalo.edu/law/bclc/bclrarticles/2%281%29/Bclrgain.pdf.
15 William H. Rehnquist, 1998 Year-End Report of the Federal Judiciary (Jan. 1, 1999). See also, Rehnquist Blames Congress for Courts’ Increased Workload, Wash. Times, A6 (Jan. 1, 1999).
16 Id. at 4-5. See also e.g., Rehnquist Blames Congress for Courts’ Increased Workload, Wash. Times, A6 (Jan. 1, 1999).
17 Federalization of Criminal Law, supra note 2, at 51.
18 18 U.S.C. § 1346.
19 See Sorich v. United States, 129 U.S. S. Ct. 1308, 1300 (2009) (Scalia, J., dissenting from denial of certiorari).
20 Brian Walsh and Tiffany Joslyn, Without Intent: How Congress Is Eroding the Criminal Intent Requirement in Federal Law (Heritage Foundation and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2010), available at: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/05/Without-Intent.
21 The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, 15 U.S.C. § 78dd-1, et seq.
22 James R. Doty, Toward a Reg. FCPA: A Modest Proposal for Change in Administering the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act 62 Bus. Law. 1233 (2006 – 2007).
23 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act, Pub. L. 111-203 (2010).
24 See National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act, http://www.nacdl.org/public.nsf/whitecollar/HR4173 (last visited Jan. 20, 2010).
27 See Brian W. Walsh & Stephanie A. Martz, No Retreat Now: The Long Fight to protect the attorney-client relationship against aggressive prosecutors can only end with legislation, Legal Times (Sept. 1, 2008), available at http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/legaltimes/PubArticleLT.jsp?id=1202424094454.
28 See Walsh & Martz, supra note 19.
30 Press release, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Diverse Coalition Urges Congress to Rein in Overcriminalization (Sept. 29, 2010), available at: http://www.nacdl.org/public.nsf/NewsReleases/2010mn32?OpenDocument.
31 See, e.g., Lesley Clark, Congress looks at laws that criminalize non-criminal behavior, Miami Herald (Oct. 3, 2010), available at: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/10/03/1855997/congress-looks-at-laws-that-criminalize.html.
32 Without Intent, supra note 1.
33 Heritage Foundation Symposium: Without Intent: How Congress Is Eroding the Criminal Intent Requirement in Federal Law, Washington, DC: May 24, 2010. Video available at: http://www.heritage.org/Events/2010/05/Without-Intent.
34 Reining in Overcriminalization: Assessing the Problems, Proposing Solutions: Hearing Before the Subcomm. on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security of the H. Comm. on the Judiciary. 111th Cong. (2010).
35 Michael S. Greco, President of the American Bar Association, Statement re: U.S. Sentencing Commission Vote Rescinding 2004 Privilege Waiver Amendment (Apr. 6, 2006), available at: http://www.abanow.org/2006/04/statement-re-u-s-sentencing-commission-vote-rescinding-2004-privilege-waiver-amendment/; Douglas Koff and Jason Jurgens, CFTC Yields More Conflicting Advice on Privilege Waivers, 237 New York L. J. (Apr. 13, 2007), available at: http://www.cadwalader.com/assets/article/041307KoffJurgensNYLJ_.pdf.
36 American Bar Association, Independence of the Legal Profession: Attorney-Client Privilege, Work Product, and Employee Legal Protections (Oct. 2010), available at: http://www.abanet.org/poladv/priorities/privilegewaiver/.
37 Press release, Securities and Exchange Commission,
SEC Announces Initiative to Encourage Individuals and Companies to Cooperate and Assist in Investigations (Jan. 13, 2010), available at: http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2010/2010-6.htm.
38 Federalization of Crimes Uniform Standard Act of 2001, H.R. 1998, 107th Cong. (2001).
39 Without Intent, supra note 1, at 14-15 (explaining the danger of “strict liability” offenses, i.e. offenses that do not contain any mens rea terminology, and providing examples of such offenses contained in bills introduced in the 109th Congress).
40 See Flores-Figueroa v. United States, 129 S. Ct. 1886, 509 U.S. ___ (2009) (exploring the difficulties of interpretation caused by an introductory mens rea term in the one-sentence long federal aggravated identity theft statute and reversing the appellate court’s affirmance of a jury conviction on the grounds that the statute’s “knowingly” mens rea term applies to its “a means of identification of another person” clause).
41 See United States v. Santos, 553 U.S. 507, 514, 128 S. Ct. 2020, 2025 (2008) (“Under a long line of our decisions, the tie must go to the defendant. The rule of lenity requires ambiguous criminal laws to be interpreted in favor of the defendants subjected to them. . . . The venerable rule not only vindicates the fundamental principle that no citizen should be held accountable for a violation of a statute whose commands are uncertain, or subjected to punishment that is not clearly prescribed. It also places the weight of inertia upon the party that can best induce Congress to speak more clearly and keeps courts from making criminal law in Congress’s stead.”) (internal citations omitted).
42 U.S. DEP’T OF JUST., FY 2009 BUDGET AND PERFORMANCE SUMMARY, FEDERAL PRISON SYSTEM, available at http://www.usdoj.gov/jmd/2009summary/html/127_bop.htm.
43 BUREAU OF JUST. STAT., U.S. DEP’T OF JUST., JUSTICE EXPENDITURE AND EMPLOYMENT IN THE UNITED STATES, 2003 (2006), at 3, available at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/jeeus03.pdf.
44 U.S. Bureau of Prisons, A Brief History of the Bureau of Prisons, http://www.bop.gov/about/history.jsp.
45 U.S. SENT’G COMMISSION, FIFTEEN YEARS OF GUIDELINES SENTENCING (2004), at 54, available at http://www.ussc.gov/15_year/15year.htm
46 See Federal Sentencing Reform, Smart on Crime (2011).
47 Attorney-Client Privilege Protection Act of 2007, H.R. 3013, 110th Cong. (2007)
48 Attorney-Client Privilege Protection Act of 2008, S. 3217, 110th Cong. (2008).
49 Attorney-Client Privilege Protection Act of 2009, S. 445, 111th Cong. (2009).
50 Attorney-Client Privilege Protection Act of 2009, H.R. 4326, 111th Cong. (2009).
51 American Bar Association, Protecting the Attorney-Client Privilege, the Work Product Doctrine, and Employee Legal Rights: Comprehensive Reform Still Critically Needed (Oct. 2010), available at: http://www.abanet.org/poladv/priorities/privilegewaiver/2010Oct_factsheet.pdf.