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By Jack King
NACDL News columns.
At a Capitol Hill press conference May 5 commemorating Law Day 2010, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Crime Subcommittee, respectively, unveiled the groundbreaking, non-partisan report prepared by NACDL and The Heritage Foundation, Without Intent: How Congress Is Eroding the Criminal Intent Requirement in Federal Law. NACDL Executive Director Norman L. Reimer and former Attorney General Edwin Meese also spoke.
In recent decades, Congress has enacted scores of fundamentally flawed criminal statutes that lack adequate criminal intent protection for innocent actors. Among its findings, the report determined that of the 446 non-violent, non-drug-related criminal offenses proposed during the 109th Congress, 57 percent lacked an adequate guilty-mind requirement. The report also revealed that 23 of those inadequately protective offenses were enacted into law.
“Without Intent is a blueprint for principled reform,” explained Rei
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