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  • Legal Memorandum posted August 14, 2013 by Paul Larkin, Daniel J. Dew Making Crime Fighting a Team Effort: Cross-Designating Federal Law Enforcement Officers as State Officers

    The Heritage Foundation has long criticized the phenomenon of overcriminalization[1] and has offered several solutions to the problems that overcriminalization causes.[2] This Legal Memorandum proposes another possible solution: Rather than enact new federal legislation creating new federal crimes, Congress should direct the Attorney General to work out arrangements with…

  • Backgrounder posted March 25, 2013 by Paul Rosenzweig, Daniel J. Dew Guilty Until Proven Innocent: Undermining the Criminal Intent Requirement

    Developed over the course of hundreds of years, the Anglo–American legal system contains several key provisions that, when used properly, guard against wrongful criminal convictions. These protections are critical: Not only do they defend Americans from false accusations and Kafka-esque legal proceedings, but they also demand that police and prosecutors proceed with…

  • Issue Brief posted December 27, 2012 by Daniel J. Dew Senator Rand Paul: Overcriminalization Champion

    Since he was sworn into the Senate in 2011, Senator Rand Paul (R–KY) has consistently fought against overcriminalization, a term used to describe the use of criminal penalties to punish morally blameless conduct. Conduct that was not a crime in the past—and perhaps not a violation of any law—is now punished with time in prison. Senator Paul has spent his time in the…

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