Overcriminalized.com

by Walter Olson on October 28, 2003

Not related to this website despite its name, Overcriminalized.com is a new site from the Heritage Foundation “devoted to challenging and ultimately reversing the harmful trend by government to criminalize more and more ordinary activities.” Among the case histories presented: Palo Alto v. Leibrand, in which a 61-year-old homeowner was fingerprinted and booked (complete with mug shot) on charges of letting the street-side xylosma bushes near her bungalow grow more than two feet high (her site); and cases of alleged federal overzealousness in enforcing the False Claims Act (U.S. v. Krizek, alleged overbilling by psychotherapist); and environmental law (Hansen v. U.S., manager of bankrupt chemical plant sentenced to 46 months despite critics’ questions as to both mens rea and his practical capability to rectify the various violations). For a sampling of similar themes aired on this site, see Aug. 6 (drowsy driving), Jul. 22 (corporation’s vicarious criminal liability for acts of employees and agents), Jul. 14 (U.K. seaweed-picking); May 14 (sexual harassment); Aug. 3-5, 2001 (cloned human cells); Dec. 8-10, 2000 (gun sale); Oct. 20-22, 2000 (product liability); May 18-21, 2000 (public morality laws) and Dec. 20 and Aug. 2, 1999 (injury to animals). Plus: Tim Sandefur (Oct. 28) has more, including pointers to an earlier Heritage memo on the subject (Paul Rosenzweig, “The Over-Criminalization of Social and Economic Conduct”, Apr. 17) and commentaries by Tyler Cowen (Oct. 21) and himself (Oct. 16).

{ 1 comment }

1 Rodent Regatta 10.28.03 at 8:11 pm

When More Is Too Much

Overlawyered.com explains Overcriminalized.com:Not related to this website despite its name, Overcriminalized.com is a new site from the Heritage Foundation “devoted…

Comments on this entry are closed.