The United States Is The World 's Largest Jailer

962 WordsDec 3, 20154 Pages
The United States is the world’s largest jailer. We are home to only five percent of the worlds population, yet we have twenty-five percent of the worlds prison population. I don’t know about you, but those numbers seem a tad skewed to me. I suppose a reasonable person would think the more laws you have the safer you’ll be, right? But what about when police can seize your property or raid your house without proving you committed a crime, does that seem safe? We often look at laws as black and white, but there is often a lot of gray. As Congress creates more laws, more people are ending up in our criminal system. Over time, Congress has created more than 4,500 federal criminal laws spread across 27,000 pages of the United States federal code. (Need a better ending. Maybe your question?) Overcriminalization has become a major issue. (Maybe define overcriminalization) There has been an extreme misuse of criminal law. We are punishing conduct that is not morally blameworthy and passing redundant criminal statutes. Do we really need to be persecuting petty violations? No attorney, judge, or law professor, let alone the average person, could know all of the criminal law that we have. Criminal law describes offenses as being composed of two elements: the mens rea and the actus reus. The mens rea is the guilty mind and the actus reus is the guilty act. For example, homicide is a result crime meaning that is was intentional conduct that results in the death of a person.
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