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January 30, 2015

Notable new commentary on Yates v. US and overcriminalization

Via email I learned about these two notable new commentaries discussing issues surrounding the federal criminal case Yates v. United States soon to be resolved by the Supreme Court:

SOX on Fish: A New Harm of Overcriminalization by Todd Haugh

Going Overboard: Yates and DOJ’s “Most Serious Offense” Charging Policy by Scott Coffina & Edward James Beale

January 30, 2015 at 08:58 AM | Permalink


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I think there are serious concerns with the DOJ's policy but those concerns are (as should be obvious) policy concerns. There's no rule of construing a statute narrowly because you don't want the DOJ to use it broadly. If the conduct is clearly covered under the text of the statute, it is clearly covered regardless of government overreach.

But I agree with the premise of the article. If a prosecutor ever wants to seriously argue that they act in the interests of justice, they need a policy of evaluating a case on individual merits not by charging the most serious charge available. I concede that issues of personal bias may then come into play (prosecutors operate with a great deal of autonomy, after all), but I don't think the "most serious charge available" policy is the best way of handling it (just like I don't think harsh mandatory minimums did a great job of reducing bias in the system).

Posted by: Erik M | Jan 30, 2015 9:31:50 AM

Article is a step in the right direction.

Some missing points.

The technique is from the Inquisition 1.0, a criminal enterprise so robust, its business model lasted 700 years.

Self criticism in the form of preservation of adverse evidence is madness, and from the Inquisition, as well. The lawyer profession is a criminal cult enterprise (CCE), to be resisted and counter attacked at every opportunity. There is a patriotic duty to destroy evidence, and to not collaborate with the internal traitors.

The lawyer profession is destroying the nation, inflicting over $trillion in damage a year. No exception, behind every social pathology is a lawyer making money and imposing tyrannical power.

Most of the rules of the lawyer are to generate rent, and to tyrannize the public, and have no external validation, except for their enforcement at the point of a gun. They are garbage rules, that would fail to meet Daubert standards in nearly 100% of cases. That is a precise replication of the Medieval rent. Government failure is best explained by understanding, it is a wholly owned subsidiary of the CCE. No matter their original IQ, all have been made into dumbasses by their cult indoctrination. To my knowledge, no lawyer has any awareness. They are like fish, in a sewer oblivious to the air and land above.

Good for us: the profession is stupid, lazy, and easily deterred by a little pushback, being weak bullies. It should be standard practice, that when the regulators come to visit, resist to the utmost and counter attack. There is a 99% chance that breaking a rule will go unpunished because they do nothing right. Just pay your taxes, because at collecting those, they are 100% effective. Go after their personal destruction, and make their lives unlivable, as they are doing to us. That ia duty of every patriot.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 31, 2015 5:23:38 AM

The problem of overcriminalization is duly noted but I continue not to be convinced the "fish" case was an example of it being applied in an unjust matter.

Posted by: Joe | Jan 31, 2015 10:30:56 AM

Joe. Justice means what to you? Equal treatment? Everyone is expected to remove and preserve small fish from a big catch to make the lawyer"s job easy, plundering your assets at the point of a gun.

In an utilitarian analysis, we look the other way on the fish, and send in drones to destroy the home of an Isis supporter, or we say we will, let Isis behead the sponsor.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 31, 2015 2:06:26 PM

I guess this is a question that might require more knowledge of these kinds of laws, but Sorbanes Oxley struck me as designed to prevent destroying evidence so the authorities never find out about it. Didn't they already see the fish were undersized? Wouldn't that testimony be enough to convict?

Posted by: Erik M | Jan 31, 2015 9:24:36 PM

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