Have You Committed Your Three Felonies Today?
A similar attitude may be appropriate in light of an estimate that due to vague statutes and the proliferation of federal regulations – which have the force of law – we wake up in the morning, go to work, come home, eat dinner, and go to sleep unaware we may have committed several federal crimes in the course of the day. The number varies but the average number of crimes per American seems to be about three.
The more important point is that every one of us is probably guilty of something. “There is no one in the United States over the age of 18 who cannot be indicted for some federal crime,” retired Louisiana State University law professor John Baker told the Wall Street Journal in July 2011. “That is not an exaggeration.”
• This means that if they want you, they can get you.
• That in turn means that who gets charged, prosecuted, and jailed is a matter of the relevant officials’ discretion.
• And that in turn means that discretion can and will be politicized.