FoxNews.com | Federal law in particular now criminalizes entire categories of activities that the average person would never dream would land him in prison. This is an inevitable result of the fact that the criminal law is no longer restricted to punishing inherently wrongful conduct — such as murder, rape, robbery, and the like.
Moreover, under these new laws, the government can often secure a conviction without having to prove that the person accused even intended to commit a bad act, historically a protection against wrongful conviction.
Laws like this are dangerous in the hands of social engineers and ambitious lawmakers — not to mention overzealous prosecutors — bent on using government’s greatest civilian power to punish any activity they dislike. So many thousands of criminal offenses are now in federal law that a prominent federal appeals court judge titled his recent essay on this overcriminalization problem, “You’re (Probably) a Federal Criminal.”
Consider small-time inventor and entrepreneur Krister Evertson, who will testify at today’s hearing. Krister never had so much as a traffic ticket before he was run off the road near his mother’s home in Wasilla, Alaska, by SWAT-armored federal agents in large black SUVs training automatic weapons on him.
Evertson, who had been working on clean-energy fuel cells since he was in high school, had no idea what he’d done wrong. It turned out that when he legally sold some sodium (part of his fuel-cell materials) to raise cash, he forgot to put a federally mandated safety sticker on the UPS package he sent to the lawful purchaser.
Krister’s lack of a criminal record did nothing to prevent federal agents from ransacking his mother’s home in their search for evidence on this oh-so-dangerous criminal.
The good news is that a federal jury in Alaska acquitted Krister of all charges. The jurors saw through the charges and realized that Krister had done nothing wrong.
The bad news, however, is that the feds apparently had it in for Krister. Federal criminal law is so broad that it gave prosecutors a convenient vehicle to use to get their man.
Two years after arresting him, the feds brought an entirely new criminal prosecution against Krister on entirely new grounds. Read Entire Article
By Brian W. Walsh