In this podcast, Tim O'Toole discusses concerns about "overcriminalization" and H.R. 2572, the Clean Up Government Act of 2011, with James Copland, director of the Center for Legal Policy at the Manhattan Institute.
O'Toole defines overcriminalization as "...the rapid expansion over the last forty years of a host of criminal laws, many of which are vague, many of which overlap. Those same laws have decreased the intent requirements that traditionally were the foundational principle of criminal law that is, for the most part, [that] the criminal law would punish people when they did things with a bad intent, when they knew what they were doing was wrong and they did it anyway. Now a lot of these new expanding criminal laws, and most of them are federal criminal laws [that] reach into traditional state concerns, eliminate intent requirements. Then on top of that, they contain ever-increasing sentences."