Bipartisan Task Force Looks to Cut List of 4,500 Federal Crimes
The House Judiciary Committee's Over-Criminalization Task Force met for its first meeting to hear four witnesses present why lawmakers should reduce the number of vague or misused laws where citizens can be fined or imprisoned. Litigation Partner and Chairman of American Bar Association's criminal justice section William Shepherd spoke about a Florida fisherman who was convicted for allegedly destroying three out of his haul of 72 grouper fish before they were reinspected by fishing regulators.
"My guess would be that Congress had no idea that a post-Enron anti-document-shredding statute would be used to convict a man of destroying three red grouper," said Mr. Shepherd. "The laws that you draft get applied by real people and impact real lives in ways that you may have no idea would be the ultimate goal and ultimate effect."