America is in the throes of overcriminalization: We are making and enforcing far too many criminal laws that create traps for the innocent but unwary and threaten to make criminals out of those who are doing their best to be respectable, law-abiding citizens. Key developments in criminal law and practice over the past few decades have raised troubling questions about the fairness of our criminal justice system as it affects the average American. It is time to confront these questions, analyze them, and subject them to serious, vigorous debate.
One Nation Under Arrest highlights a major effort to return the criminal law to its traditional and proper role in society: to ensure public safety and protect the innocent. With first-hand stories from victims of overcriminalization, One Nation Under Arrest sheds light on an insidious problem that few recognize or care about but which is vital to the fundamental values of the Republic and our concept of justice. Overcriminalization should concern everyone in America, both as citizens and as potential accused. Much is at stake for our freedoms and the freedoms of future generations. Taking the steps necessary to ensure that American criminal law once again routinely exemplifies the right principles and purposes will require much work, but the alternative is to squander the great treasure that is the American criminal justice system.
More About the Speakers
Brian W. Walsh
Senior Legal Fellow,
Center for Legal and Judicial Studies,
The Heritage Foundation
Edwin Meese III
Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow Emeritus