The average American commits three crimes a day.

James Madison warned of overcriminalization in Federalist Paper 62, writing that “it will be of little avail to the people… if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.” 

Madison was onto something, because we currently have no idea how many crimes are on the books

The Congressional Research Service, the Justice Department, and the American Bar Association have all tried and failed to count the federal criminal laws. But we believe there may be around 4,000 existing federal criminal laws. But even this massive number is dwarfed by incredibly high estimates that Americans are subjected to about 300,000 federal regulatory offenses. 

But nobody really knows. 

What we do know is that overcriminalization offends both sides of the aisle and is antithetical to our nation’s founding principles. 

 “The hallmark of fairness in the administration of justice is consistency.” 

Have you had an experience with overcriminalization or weaponization of the justice system?