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LISTEN NOWThe Freedom Files Podcast Episode 18 featuring Michael ChaseListen Here
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Blog

Support the Mens Rea Reform Act, S. 1902

On behalf of our activist community, I urge you to contact your senators and ask them to support the Mens Rea Reform Act, S. 1902, introduced by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), David Perdue (R-Ga.), and Rand Paul (R-Ky.). The bill would address over-criminalization at the federal level, setting a default intent standard for all federal criminal laws and regulations currently lacking mens rea protections. The proposed default intent standard would require the government to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant acted willfully in order to obtain a conviction.

10/05/2017
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Press Release

Most Democrats Care About Criminal Intent Only When It Comes to Hillary Clinton

FreedomWorks today urged Democrats who have opposed criminal intent legislation in Congress to reconsider their position following the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) controversial and questionable recommendation not to pursue federal charges against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

07/06/2016
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Blog

Speaker Ryan Makes Compelling Case for Justice Reform

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) indicated Wednesday that he plans to bring the House Judiciary Committee’s justice reform package to the floor of the lower chamber for a vote. He did not, however, offer a timetable for action, nor did he indicate which specific bills would be part of the package.

03/23/2016
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Blog

19 Ridiculous Federal Criminal Laws and Regulations

One of the more interesting aspects of FreedomWorks' justice reform project is studying the over-criminalization. It is an issue that many want to avoid, preferring instead to focus their efforts on other very worthy issues like sentencing and corrections reform. Of course, we support these efforts. With 4,500 to 5,000 federal criminal statutes and as many as 400,000 regulations carrying criminal penalties, over-criminalization is a problem, and it is one that does not get nearly enough attention.

01/14/2016
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Blog

The Over-criminalization Epidemic: The Need for a Guilty Mind Requirement in Federal Criminal Law

Justice reform is a topic that has received a lot of attention from members of Congress. Front-end sentencing and back-end reentry reforms have dominated the discussion on Capitol Hill, as well as out outside of Washington. Over-criminalization of federal criminal law, however, has not received nearly enough attention.

09/01/2015
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Blog

You've probably broken the law, and you don't even know it

In April 1790, the first Congress passed the Crimes Act, a law that established a criminal code in the United States. The Constitution listed only three crimes -- counterfeiting, piracy, and treason. The Crimes Act codified those crimes and added a little more than a dozen others, including murder, larceny, and perjury. The list of federal offenses was short and easily defined.

08/17/2015