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The average professional in this country wakes up in the morning,
goes to work, comes home, eats dinner, and then goes to sleep,
unaware that he or she has likely committed several federal crimes
that day. Why? The answer lies in the very nature of
modern federal criminal laws, which have exploded in number but
also become impossibly broad and vague. In Three Felonies
, Harvey Silverglate reveals how federal criminal laws
have become dangerously disconnected from the English common law
tradition and how prosecutors can pin arguable federal crimes on
any one of us, even for the most seemingly innocuous behavior.
Federal crimes in recent decades have increased in volume well
beyond the statute books and into the morass of the Code of Federal
Regulations, handing federal prosecutors an additional trove of
vague and exceedingly complex and technical prohibitions to stick
on their hapless targets. The dangers spelled out in
Three Felonies a Day do not apply solely to "white collar
criminals," state and local politicians, and professionals.
No social class or profession is safe from this troubling form of
social control by the executive branch, and nothing less than the
integrity of our constitutional democracy hangs in the balance.
Harvey Silverglate is a Counsel to Boston's
Zalkind, Rodriguez, Lunt & Duncan LLP, specializing in criminal
defense, civil liberties, and academic freedom/student rights
law. He is Founder and Co-Chairman of FIRE (Foundation for
Individual Rights Education) and the author of The Shadow
University with Alan Charles Kors.
~ Books will be available for purchase and to be signed by
the author ~
More About the Speakers
Brian W. Walsh
Senior Legal Research Fellow