Blogs > Liberty and Power > Federal Prosecutors Gone Wild

Oct 9, 2009 3:23 am


Federal Prosecutors Gone Wild



The founding fathers never intended the federal government to be in the business of prosecuting ordinary crime. This task was supposed to be left to the states. However, with the advent of alcohol and drug prohibition that line became increasingly blurred to the point where all sorts of seemingly mundane behavior can land someone in federal prison.

In a very alarming article by Brian W. Walsh, a senior legal research fellow in the Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at the Heritage Foundation, the movement by the federal government to turn everyone into a criminal is discussed. The piece begins by describing a SWAT team raid by the Fish and Wildlife Service that trashed the home of George Norris. Walsh tells us that “Mr. Norris ended up spending almost two years in prison because he didn't have the proper paperwork for some of the many orchids he imported. The orchids were all legal - but Mr. Norris and the overseas shippers who had packaged the flowers had failed to properly navigate the many, often irrational, paperwork requirements the U.S. imposed when it implemented an arcane international treaty's new restrictions on trade in flowers and other flora.”

Mr. Norris is an elderly man with significant health problems and the two years in prison, along with the years fighting the charges, constitute a tremendous physical and financial burden on someone for what was essentially faulty paperwork. He represents a growing class of people, victims of overzealous federal prosecutors enforcing intrusive irrational laws. So many individuals and their families have had their lives ruined that the problem has warranted Congressional hearings. The question becomes who will be next person receiving this kind of injustice?

Cross posted on The Trebach Report


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