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With all the attention that's been paid lately to long federal sentences for drug offenders, it's surprising that a far more troubling phenomenon has barely hit the media's radar screen. Every year, thousands of upstanding, responsible Americans run afoul of some incomprehensible federal law or regulation and end up serving time in federal prison.
The other hardened criminal whose story members of Congress will hear today is retiree George Norris. A longtime resident of Spring, Texas, Norris made the mistake of not knowing and keeping track of all of the details of federal and international law on endangered species -- mostly paperwork requirements -- before he decided to turn his orchid hobby into a small business. What was Norris's goal? To earn a little investment income while his wife neared retirement.
Facing 10 years in federal prison, Norris pled guilty and served almost two. His wife, Kathy, describes the pain of losing their life savings to pay for attorneys and trying to explain to grandchildren why for so long Poppa George couldn't see them.
Federal criminal law did not get so badly broken overnight, and it will take hard work to get it fixed. It is encouraging that members of Congress such as Reps. Scott and Gohmert are now paying attention to the toll overcriminalization takes on ordinary Americans. Congress needs to begin fixing the damage it has done by starting to restore a more reasonable, limited and just federal criminal law. Today's hearing is an excellent first step.
Originally posted by thisguyrighthere
Here's a thread where the OP is teetering on the brink of becoming a felon over some bureaucratic nonsense.
It might be easier to just have a written form telling us what is absolutely legal rather than what is or could be construed as illegal.
This freedom smells a little like an outhouse.
Originally posted by ProtoplasmicTraveler
I would just like to say I am proud to be a Federal Criminal!
I would rather be a Pirate, a Rogue, a Knave and a Scoundrell, a Hooligan and that bad boy with the good heart that gets to bed the really good looking woman who doesn't want to marry him but just bed him than...
What is it the rest of you do?
I love this planet!