University of Phoenix
CJA/343 Criminal Law
August 4, 2009
In America, “overcriminalization” is described as a trend, particularly favored by Congress, to use criminal law as a mean to solving every problem, punishing every mistake and coercing American citizens into a conforming to a behavior and lifestyle which would satisfy the objectives set forth by social engineering.(Heritage, 2008) Many who oppose overcriminalization say it is just a way for government to pry itself into the American people's private lives. (Heritage, 2008)
Ideally, criminal law should only be used to address conduct which society as a whole believes to be deserving of a great punishment and “moral sanction.” (Heritage, 2008) From what the general public understands in regards to overcriminalization, it is the passing of laws that allow government to reach into an individual's life to prosecute them for violating laws which probably should not have ever been passed to begin with. (Heritage, 2008) To many the government's actions through said overcriminalization comes as no surprise and are not at all phased by the fact that this is happening to our very own American citizens. (Heritage, 2008) The thoughts are that the U.S. Has a trough of laws already, why not add another to further burden the system. (Heritage, 2008)
A clear example of overcriminalization is the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BRACA). (Kozinski, 2009) The passing of this act was to ensure that corporate and union officials were held responsible for broadcasting any kind of advertisement 30 days prior to a primary and 60 days before a general election very much knowingly. (Kozinski, 2009) However, the Free Congress Foundation insists that all the act really did was restrain the freedom of speech and most importantly the political freedom for individuals to take part in a debate before any election....