January 17, 2013
"There has also been a trend over the last 20 years or so toward laws that don’t require prosecutors to show criminal intent. This means you can be prosecuted for crimes you had no idea you were breaking — even laws you actively tried not to break. A 2010 study co-authored by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Heritage Foundation found that in its rush to criminalize more and more behavior, Congress has been passing poorly-drafted laws that increasingly lack any requirement at all to show intent. Even when intent is included, the study found, it tends to be vague and open to interpretation (which also means open to abuse) by prosecutors."

Radley Balko

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