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Issue Analysis

Simple Justice: An Overview of Justice Reform in the 115th Congress

You are safer walking down the street today than any point since the 1960s. Despite claims of a new crime wave, the United States is experiencing its lowest crime rates in decades.

10/23/2017
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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

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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Press Release

FreedomWorks Commends House Judiciary Committee’s Action on Justice Reform

Following the House Judiciary Committee’s markup and approval of the Sentencing Reform Act and the Criminal Code Improvement Act, FreedomWorks CEO Adam Brandon commented:

11/18/2015
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Blog

Why Addressing Over-Criminalization Is a Vital Part of Justice Reform

The House Judiciary Committee is poised to take up several bills dealing with justice reform. Among the bills scheduled for markup on Wednesday are the Sentencing Reform Act, sponsored by Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), and the Criminal Code Improvement Act, introduced by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.). FreedomWorks has released letters of support for both bills.

11/17/2015
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Blog

Tell Your Lawmakers to Support the Criminal Code Improvement Act

As one of our more than 6.9 million FreedomWorks members nationwide, I urge you to contact your congressman today and ask him or her to support the Criminal Code Improvement Act of 2015, H.R. 4002, and to co-sponsor it if they have not already done so.

11/17/2015
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Op-ed Placement

Overcriminalization’s spillover effect: Man gets criminal record because of a sewer

Across the United States, honest, hardworking small-business owners and employees are spending money on lawyers’ fees to shield themselves from prosecution arising from Congress’ excessive enactment of criminal laws.

09/28/2015
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Blog

Over-criminalization and Mens Rea: The Missing Topics in the Justice Reform Debate

The epidemic of over-criminalization was the focal point of remarks delivered by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) on Monday afternoon. Justice reform has been a hot topic in Congress this year, particularly in the Senate, where several Judiciary Committee members are finalizing the language of a bill that would bring modest sentencing and prison reforms to the corrections system. Unfortunately, over-criminalization has been largely missing from the debate.

09/21/2015
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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

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