Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent (Paperback)
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The average professional in this country wakes up in the morning, goes to work, comes home, eats dinner, and then goes to sleep, unaware that he or she has likely committed several federal crimes that day. Why? The answer lies in the very nature of modern federal criminal laws, which have exploded in number but also become impossibly broad and vague. In Three Felonies a Day, Harvey A. Silverglate reveals how federal criminal laws have become dangerously disconnected from the English common law tradition and how prosecutors can pin arguable federal crimes on any one of us, for even the most seemingly innocuous behavior. The volume of federal crimes in recent decades has increased well beyond the statute books and into the morass of the Code of Federal Regulations, handing federal prosecutors an additional trove of vague and exceedingly complex and technical prohibitions to stick on their hapless targets. The dangers spelled out in Three Felonies a Day do not apply solely to "white collar criminals," state and local politicians, and professionals. No social class or profession is safe from this troubling form of social control by the executive branch, and nothing less than the integrity of our constitutional democracy hangs in the balance.
About the Author
HARVEY A. SILVERGLATE is counsel to Boston's Zalkind, Rodriguez, Lunt & Duncan LLP, specializing in criminal defense, civil liberties, and academic freedom/student rights law. He is co-founder and Chairman of FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) and is a regular columnist for The Boston Phoenix. Silverglate has been published in The National Law Journal, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times Book Review, and elsewhere. He is author of The Shadow University with Alan Charles Kors.