A recent article in the New York Times discusses a growing phenomenon among the left and right wing people who believe that the criminal justice system has gotten too big for its britches. While some conservatives once supported the tough-on-crime stance of the Republican party, many now worry that prosecutors have taken things too far.
According to the conservative research group the Heritage Foundation, the federal code now includes more than 4,400 criminal offenses. Many of these offenses do not require prosecutors to prove criminal intent in the traditional ways. A book by a civil liberties attorney in Massachusetts states that all Americans violate federal criminal law every day, because it’s too vague.
Several upcoming cases will examine the boundaries of the federal government. For instance, United States v. Comstock will go before the Supreme Court in January and test whether Congress has the constitutional right to authorize the continued confinement of people convicted of sex crimes after they have served their criminal sentences. Our South Florida criminal defense attorneys will be interested in watching this case unfold and seeing how the issue develops over the next several months.
Source: Right and Left Join Forces on Criminal Justice, New York Times, November 23, 2009
Contact our South Florida criminal defense law firm if you have questions regarding your legal rights.