We all know the minimum sentencing laws for drug violations are nuts in this country. Combined with “broken windows” policing, those laws have sent entire generations of minority men to jail. We need criminal justice reform badly.
But one version of the bipartisan effort to address this issue, called H.R.4002 and backed by the Koch brothers, goes too far in a big way. In particular, it extends to white-collar crime and it insists that the defendant in a Federal criminal case “acted with intent.”
The entire bill is here, you can read it for yourself. Concentrate on Section 11, where it state:
if the offense consists of conduct that a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances would not know, or would not have reason to believe, was unlawful, the Government must prove that the defendant knew, or had reason to believe, the conduct was unlawful.
Here’s why I am particularly…
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