Rep. Chip Roy (TX-21), Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08), and Rep. David Trone (MD-06) introduced the Count the Crimes to Cut Act that would require the Attorney General in cooperation with the agency heads to produce a full report of all federal criminal statues and federal regulations with criminal penalties.
This bill would ensure each offense requires providing the following details:
The elements of each offense
The potential penalties for each offense
The number of prosecutions brought in the last 15 years for each offense
The mens rea required for each offense
“Government exists to protect our liberty, not bury it alive under a pile of never-ending, unnecessary criminal laws. Federal politicians and bureaucrats have created innumerable crimes, and the result of this is overburdened law enforcement and distrust in our justice system,” Rep. Roy said. “Almost anyone over the age of 18 in this country could be indicted for some kind of federal infraction at any moment without even realizing they’re breaking the law. It’s time we finally count these crimes and get busy cutting a lot of them. I’m happy to introduce this bipartisan legislation alongside Reps. Jeffries and Trone,”
“The Count The Crimes To Cut Act will help reverse engineer the mass incarceration epidemic by identifying laws on the books that have been used and abused to lock many nonviolent offenders in prison for unwarranted amounts of time. I thank Rep. Roy for introducing this bipartisan legislation and all my colleagues in the Congress who are committed to making the promise of equal justice for all a reality,” said Rep. Jeffries.
With estimates numbering between 4,500 and 5,000 criminal statutes plus up to 300,000 regulations that carry criminal penalties, it is clear that America has too many crimes on the books. Law professor John Baker claims, “there is no one in the United States over the age of 18 who cannot be indicted for some federal crime.”
The legislation is endorsed by FreedomWorks, Heritage Action, the Due Process Institute, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the R Street Institute.