- Hardcover: 160 pages
- Publisher: Cato Institute (October 25, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1930865635
- ISBN-13: 978-1930865631
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,123,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Go Directly to Jail: The Criminalization of Almost Everything Hardcover – October 25, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
The latest offering from the Cato Institute says: Think again.
In Go Directly to Jail: The Criminalization of Almost Everything, six essays catalog decent people caught in the indecent web of over 4,000 federal criminal laws.
In "Overextending the Criminal Law," Professor Eric Luna introduces us to the expanding federal criminal code, which now includes, to the extent that scholars can even count them, over 4,000 crimes. Worse, these crimes have come loose from the common law moorings that punished the evil, and acquitted the good. By eliminating the traditional requirement that a person is guilty only of he commits a guilty act motivated guilty mind, "legislators" are turning traditional "criminal sanctions" into "another tool in their regulatory toolkit." As the book jacket explains, "an unholy alliance of tough-on-crime conservatives and anti-big-business liberals has utterly transformed the criminal law" into a trap for the unwary.
In "The New 'Criminal' Classes: Legal Sanctions and Business Managers" James DeLong discusses the general principles of criminal law that affect all cases, especially the lack of a "guilty mind" requirement in most modern criminal laws. Thus, someone who acts in good faith (even consulting with a lawyer before acting) can end up in prison.Read more ›
The author/editor is to be commended for paying attention to vice and drug crimes. Too often, commentators in this area focus only on white-collar crime. This is understandable, since this is where the money is. But prostitutes, murderers, and drug dealers can be federal criminal defendants, too, and they too are often victims of overcriminalization. Mandatory minimum sentences can be every bit as frightening as the responsible corporate officer doctrine.
Ultimately, this book is more than a success. But it is also an invitation to delve deeper into overcriminalization, an area ripe for new scholarship.
Today I was watching the news about smashing meth labs in somewhere like Iowa. A few years ago they found two labs. Last year they found fifteen hundred. It seems like the drug laws, the annual wars on drugs, the drug Czar, aren't really doing very much. I believe that one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over when you know it isn't working.
Then there's the so called Patriot's Act which to most people seem to directly violate the Constitution. (And to which challenges are making their way through the court system.)
Reading about the apparent lapses in any kind of common sense described in this book is scary. You can only hope that they, whoever they are, aren't really out to get you.
The prison population in the United States is 1 out of every 142 residents. About 3.1% of all adult US citizens are in prison, jail, on probation or parole. This is about six times the percentage in England.
Hey, you guys in Washington, something is wrong here.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is one of the most important books ever. Government started out as a beneficial system. Criminal laws were enacted to stop obvious wrongs, such as theft, murder, fraud,... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Marvelous Mal
Excellent book. Similarly to: "The Monster Chase" by Marion Stahl, illustrating a health provider dilemma, Healy shows the worrisome absurdity of our legal system today. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Lara Moore
I knew the war on drugs was criminalizing things which should not be any buisiness of the state but i didn't know that the EPA, Clean Water Act, etc. do exactly the same thing.Published on October 19, 2013 by Page Schorer
Government of, by and AGAINST the people. If you want to keep believing in the promise of America, don't read this book. Bury your head in the sand and trust the government. Read morePublished on August 2, 2013 by Gringras
can't write about it cause i didn't get it. one two three four five six seven eight nine ten elevenPublished on December 23, 2012 by Bill Rundans
Thank you Cato Institute and Gene Healy for writing on such an important subject. I believed in government but was presented with a very different view over the past 10 years. Read morePublished on December 5, 2012 by The Writer's Quilt
My sister is a prosecutor. I know what I am talking about firsthand. With the drug war gone crazy you would like to think we would find solutions, but a government workers job is... Read morePublished on August 12, 2012 by impendingaff