Sunday, October 8, 2017

America Is in Dire Need of Mens Rea Reform

David D’Amato, Townhall

America is much less the land of the free than it is the land where everything is illegal, where, as John Stossel pointed out in 2012, “No one can know what is legal.” Today, America’s statutory codes are brimful with increasingly more obscure crimes—so many crimes that no single mind could possibly be aware of them all. The sphere of individual liberty is steadily narrowing, the list of forbidden activities growing ever longer.

In a free society, laws should be few in number, all representing specifically tailored iterations of the one general law: that each individual has a sphere of autonomy inside of which he is protected against criminal invasion. Every good law must be only a special case of this one law, this one right that attaches equally and identically to every individual.

The criminalization of everything places the citizen (more accurately, subject) in a position of permanent legal precarity, never sure whether he might, quite unwittingly, be acting in contravention of some obscure rule, a sitting duck for the bullying police officer or meddlesome bureaucrat. Such overcriminalization allows the state, especially those charged with enforcement, just the kind of discretion that renders the law arbitrary. Instead .............To Read More....

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