all criminals

An estimated 70 percent of Americans have committed a jail-worthy crime
by Bonnie Kristian, The Week
December 8, 2014

While Eric Garner’s death has instigated further conversation and protest over police misconduct and institutional racism, the circumstances surrounding his killing have brought another issue to light, too: We have a lot of laws.

According to legal scholar Douglas Husak, author of Overcriminalization: The Limits of the Criminal Law, an estimated 70 percent of American adults have committed a crime that could land them in jail. And thanks to the labyrinthine federal code, most have no idea they’ve run afoul of the law at all (in Alabama, for example, it’s a crime to “maim oneself for the purpose of gaining sympathy,” and be careful not to display any deformed animals in Florida, where that’s illegal). Husak quotes another law expert, William Stuntz, who argues that we are close to “a world in which the law on the books makes everyone a felon.”


Groove of the Day

Listen to UB 40 performing “Don’t Do The Crime”


9 Responses to “all criminals”

  1. 1 Gloria
    December 9, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Eric Garner’s Killer Wasn’t Indicted, But The Man Who Filmed Him Was

    I thought carrying a gun wasn’t a crime in the USA. It is a crime to posses a gun?


    • 2 Frank Manning
      December 9, 2014 at 8:23 pm

      It is possible that Ramsey Orta has been framed by the police in retaliation for filming the murder of Eric Garner. Utter disgusting!

      Gloria, the USA is a federal republic consisting of 50 states. Almost all of our criminal law is on the state level. There are 50 completely different sets of gun laws in this country. Here in Washington it is perfectly legal to possess a handgun. In New York it is illegal without a permit, which is almost impossible to obtain. So, the answer to your question is, Depends on what sate you’re in.

      Feliz Navidad, mia amiga!

  2. December 9, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    This is not surprising, when we know that many laws are passed to deal with a given situation and to which nobody was never confronted. Add to this the fact that legislators rarely bother to remove the dust off legislation passed by their predecessors, adding new laws instead than actualize those who exist, and seek not to abolish those that have fallen into obsolescence. Resulting in a stack of laws which nobody understands, makes sometime Court’s decisions absurd, create disparities in sentencing. As another result, almost any citizen, as virtuous as he is, is likely to violate a law which he has even no idea it exists. And this is not characteristic of America but common to all nations.

  3. 6 Wolfgang
    December 9, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    A few interesting findings

    The incarceration rate of the United States of America was /is the highest in the world


    Fact is that in the US it is still possible to charge a 10 year old child as adult and place a child in adult jail.
    And by the way, the US still doesn’t ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child

  4. 7 Gloria
    December 10, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Maybe a little bit out of topic, but since solitary is done to children too, let’s see as an example the case in pennsilvania in wich a 10 year old child is being held in an adult prison in solitary confinement.(See the link Wolfang just put on his post about a 10 year old.) Which any other civil country in the world would considere it torture and barbaric.

    UN Committee Against Torture Says U.S. Must Reform Its Use of Solitary Confinement

    On November 28, the United Nations Committee Against Torture released a 15 page report reviewing the United States’ compliance with the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT). The report cites the excessive use of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons and jails as a violation of CAT, and recommends a set of dramatic reforms.


  5. December 7, 2015 at 2:54 am

    My family all the time say that I am wasting my time here at net, except I know I
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    • December 7, 2015 at 10:20 am

      Wasting time?! If it were a waste of time (or if I didn’t get feedback like this), I wouldn’t go to the effort. What does your family want you to do instead? Watch TV?

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