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Tag: McKittrick Policy

October 25, 2018

Victory: Activists’ effort to worsen overcriminalization ends with a whimper

In 2013, several environmental activist groups launched a lawsuit to expand the criminal reach of the Endangered Species Act. They challenged the United States’ longstanding interpretation of the statutes, which makes it a crime to “knowingly” “take” a protected species, to require defendants know their actions will ca ...

October 19, 2017

PLF continues fight against overcriminalization

Most people have heard of William Blackstone’s principle that it is better that many guilty people escape punishment than that a single innocent person be imprisoned, even if they haven’t heard of Blackstone himself. This ancient value underlies the presumption of innocence in our criminal law and many other cherished protections we pro ...

March 23, 2017

PLF defends against overcriminalization under the Endangered Species Act

William Blackstone famously said “it is better that ten guilty persons escape than one innocent suffer.” Today, the criminal law honors that venerable principle by forbidding anyone from being criminally punished unless they commit an illegal act with a blameworthy state of mind. That’s why mens rea (or guilty mind) is an element ...

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