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Not Enough People in the Clink for Everyday Behavior, Claims Right on Crime

| April 1, 2016

AUSTIN, TX—Citing continued instances of citizens engaging in otherwise innocuous behavior without repercussions, analysts for Right on Crime, a conservative criminal justice reform effort based in Austin, Texas, are calling on Congress to act swiftly to punish such malefactors. “It’s unacceptable in a country such as the United States that people can take their pet cat on a whitewater excursion in Colorado, or roll rocks into caves in national parks, without facing the consequences,” stated Derek Cohen, deputy director of the group, in an email. “Why, just last week I bought some pasteurized cheese from my local deli that had a completely disagreeable taste. Totally bitter, smelled terrible. Store-bought cheese ought to be pleasing and desirable. Someone needs to pay for this.” Despite a seeming lack of outcry from the public about backpackers in Ohio’s Wildlife Conservation Area using leashes longer than six feet, or engaging in foot races in wilderness areas, Right on Crime states that failing to punish such behavior threatens to undermine a civil society, and even actions not apparently morally blameworthy are nonetheless subject to punitive sanctions. “Once, I heard someone screaming on the Supreme Court grounds that Brooks Brothers suits are second-rate rags, and I became almost physically ill,” says policy analyst Greg Glod. “Untrammeled speech is an important element in any free society, but that was just too much. Locking that monster up in the hoosegow for five years or so ought to do the trick.”




Note: Happy April Fool’s Day. While this post was a joke, the hyperlinks above point to actual federal crimes–just a few of the hundreds of thousands contained within the Federal Register. Right on Crime remains committed to combating the growing tendency to overfederalize criminal law, as well as criminalizing otherwise innocuous personal behavior of the sort highlighted in this article. 


MICHAEL HAUGEN is a policy analyst at the Texas Public Policy Foundation and its Right on Crime initiative.

His work for the Foundation has focused primarily on criminal justice reform topics, particularly civil forfeiture, prison reform and justice reinvestment, mens rea reform, occupational licensing, and various law enforcement and privacy issues. He’s also written about federal corporate subsidies, school choice, and gun rights.

Haugen is a graduate of Eastern Washington University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with Pre-Medicine Option, and a minor in Chemistry. He also holds an Associate of Arts degree in General Studies from North Idaho College. At EWU, he participated in academic research in a molecular microbiology laboratory for two years, investigating genetic virulence factors and pathophysiology in microbes.

His writing has appeared in National Review, The Hill, Townhall, Washington Examiner, Dallas Morning News, El Paso Times, Trib Talk, RedState, Ricochet, and Breitbart Texas.