(Washington D.C.) – Right On Crime sent a letter of support to U.S. lawmakers applauding the proposed policies of H.R. 8672, the Count the Crimes to Cut Act of 2024. This bi-partisan legislation would mandate collaboration between the Attorney General and federal agency heads to compile a comprehensive report detailing all federal criminal statutes and regulations entailing criminal penalties.

“We have no idea how many federal crimes are currently on the books- no one knows,” said Brett Tolman, former U.S. Attorney and Executive Director of Right On Crime. “Overcriminalization offends both sides of the aisle and is antithetical to our nation’s founding principles. We’ve allowed faceless bureaucrats to make hundreds of thousands of actions illegal with no justification to voters. The Department of Justice is the enforcer of these laws, and Americans must demand accountability.”

“Our criminal code needs to be simplified, and the DOJ and Congress have a responsibility to pare down the giant volume of federal criminal statutes and regulations with criminal penalties,” said Right On Crime Federal Director Rachel Wright. “Some estimate more than 3,500 criminal statutes and more than 300,000 regulations that carry criminal penalties. With this massive number of laws, it’s no wonder the average American is estimated to commit three felonies a day.”

This bill would require the report to provide for each offense the following: 

  • The elements of each offense.
  • The potential penalties for each offense.
  • The number of prosecutions brought by the Department of Justice in the last 15 years for each offense.
  • The mens rea required for each offense.

The bill was introduced by Rep. Chip Roy(R-TX), Rep. David Trone (D-MD) and Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ). It is supported by Right On Crime, Heritage Action, the Due Process InstituteFamilies Against Mandatory Minimums, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the National District Attorneys Association, and the R Street Institute.

Tolman recently testified on this topic to members of the House Judiciary Committee reciting how a plaque in the halls of justice read, “The hallmark of fairness in the administration of justice is consistency. This principle can easily be lost when there are too many federal criminal laws to keep track of or even understand.” The Count the Crimes to Cut Act of 2024 will help remedy this important issue.

Right On Crime is a national criminal justice campaign offering conservative and data-driven solutions for reducing crime, restoring victims, reforming offenders, and lowering taxpayer costs.