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Federal Criminalization Run Amok

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There is much talk these days about how "overcriminalization" is unnecessarily driving up costs and putting people in prison  --  often federal prison  --  who don't need to be there.

There is something to this, and good people like former Attorney General Ed Messe have expressed their concern.  At the same time, I suspect that some of the "overcriminalization" push reflects heartburn about any criminalization at all.  Isn't the more serious problem criminals, not ciminalization?

For however that may be, the overciminalization side got a boost today when the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee provided what is likely to become Exhibit A:  He wants to make it a federal felony to mislabel products as containing maple syrup.  And no, I am not making this up.

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"Isn't the more serious problem criminals, not ciminalization?"

That's obviously true, but I suspect the Idaho father who shot a grizzly bear that was threatening his children and was coerced into paying a fine would want serious people to take a serious look at what is, in many cases, an appalling abuse of power.

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