Overcriminalization

Hate crimes should not be enhanced in Kansas

Hate crimes should not be enhanced in Kansas

A bill in Kansas proposes to toughen penalties for hate crimes, thereby judging people on their thoughts and beliefs rather on their actions. When a person commits a crime against another, the crime itself ought to be enough to earn the criminal a trip to prison. What the criminal was thinking, or even saying, at the moment ought not to be relevant in determining the severity of punishment or whether a crime was committed. That's because in America we have the right to free speech, even hateful speech. We do not have, of course, the right to harm others, but…
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WichitaLiberty.TV December 29, 2013

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: Are Kansas school leaders being honest with schoolchildren and parents regarding Kansas school test scores? Then: Walter Williams on greed. Finally: Do we have too many laws? A look at the problem of overcriminalization. Episode 24, broadcast December 29, 2013. View below, or click here to view at YouTube.
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WichitaLiberty Podcast, episode 2

In this episode of WichitaLiberty Podcasts: David Boaz, Executive Vice President of the Cato Institute, visits the WichitaLiberty.TV studios and explains the ideas behind libertarianism and its approach to government and society. New figures from the Kansas State Department of Education show that spending on public schools in Kansas is rising, and at a rate higher than the year before. Is Wichita economic development being managed? The problem of overcriminalization. City of Wichita proves Einstein’s definition of insanity. Episode 2, October 25, 2013. [powerpress] Shownotes WichitaLiberty.TV October 27, 2013. David Boaz, Executive Vice President of the Cato Institute, visits the…
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USA versus You: The problem of overcriminalization

Events in recent months have justifiably caused Americans to ask whether a powerful, activist, and interventionist government and bureaucracy is good to have. Those who have been looking at overcriminalization, however, have known that government and regulatory agencies have been targeting and oppressing Americans for a long time. And it's getting worse. The new website USAvsYOU.com holds useful information for Americans to know about how law has changed in recent years, compared to how it operated for centuries before. The booklet available for reading is titled USA vs. You: The flood of criminal laws threatening your liberty. As an example,…
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USA vs. You: The problem of overcriminalization

Events in recent months have justifiably caused Americans to ask whether a powerful, activist, and interventionist government and bureaucracy is good to have. Those who have been looking at overcriminalization, however, have known that government and regulatory agencies have been targeting and oppressing Americans for a long time. And it's getting worse. The new website USAvsYOU.com holds useful information for Americans to know about how law has changed in recent years, compared to how it operated for centuries before. The booklet available for reading is titled USA vs. You: The flood of criminal laws threatening your liberty. As an example,…
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Republicans recognize overcriminalization

A section of the platform agreed to at the Republican National Convention expresses concern over the rise of overcriminalization: "The resources of the federal government’s law enforcement and judicial systems have been strained by two unfortunate expansions: the over-criminalization of behavior and the over-federalization of offenses. The number of criminal offenses in the U.S. Code increased from 3,000 in the early 1980s to over 4,450 by 2008. Federal criminal law should focus on acts by federal employees or acts committed on federal property -- and leave the rest to the States. Then Congress should withdraw from federal departments and agencies…
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Proposed Wichita sign ordinance problematic

The Wichita City Council will consider a revision to its sign ordinances aimed at reducing the proliferation of temporary signs placed in right-of-ways, mostly at intersections. The city calls this "sign blight." Here's what the proposed ordinance states, in part: "The existence of a temporary sign in the right of way or on public property directing attention to a person is prima facie evidence that such person has caused the placement of such sign in the right of way or on public property." The Wikipedia entry for prima facie explains "It is used in modern legal English to signify that…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Monday December 19, 2011

Boeing tanker and Wichita. News reports from this morning's press conference held by U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo of Wichita indicate that Boeing will not use Wichita as the finishing plant for work on the new air refueling tanker project. It was thought that this work would require 7,500 jobs in Wichita. Political and union leaders speak of holding Boeing accountable to what they believe was a promise Boeing made to Wichita, but I don't know how they can do that. ... Pompeo's press release states: "... the work will be done in Washington state. Until very recently, it had been…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Tuesday September 6, 2011

Live music example of overcriminilization, regulation in Wichita. The Wichita Eagle reports on examples of problems establishments have faced for not complying with Wichita's requirement for a live music license, which costs $400 per year. In the story No entertainment license in Wichita? Live music is illegal, it is reported that city officials are working with art gallery and coffeehouse owners to revise the ordinance. I agree with Adam Hartke, who wonders why there should be any fees. Like the recently passed regulations on haunted houses, these regulations appear to be regulating something that's not a problem. Tax reform in…
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Guitar makers and players targeted by onerous laws

Today the Wall Street Journal reports again on startling examples of overcriminalization, with federal authorities conducting raids on businesses based on aggressive enforcement of broad and vague laws. This time it's the famous Gibson Guitar company, which is charged with importing wood that may have been illegally harvested. But individual guitar owners are targeted, too, if they travel across international borders with a guitar that might possibly have been made from banned wood. If the traveler doesn't have the proper documentation, the guitar might be seized. As a result, a law professor says he doesn't leave the country with a…
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