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NACDL News: Overcriminalization Task Force Holds Hearing on Overfederalization of Criminal Law

By Ivan J. Dominguez and Isaac Kramer

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On March 27, the bipartisan House Judiciary Overcriminalization Task Force held its second hearing of 2014. The hearing focused on “overfederalization,” and the task force heard testimony from Professor James Strazzella of Temple University School of Law and Joseph I. Cassilly of the National District Attorneys Association.

At the hearing, Republican and Democratic task force members agreed that any examination of overfederalization of criminal law must begin with an acknowledgement that the body of federal criminal law has become enormous. Indeed, there are over 4,500 crimes scattered throughout the federal code, and by some estimates hundreds of thousands in the federal regulations. Representative John Conyers (D-MI) noted that Congress on average creates some 50 new federal crimes each year. The hearing evidenced a broad, bipartisan consensus that the overfederalization of criminal law is a problem in need of a solution.

Links to webcasts of all the task force’s hearings a

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  • Media inquiries: Contact NACDL's Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan J. Dominguez at 202-465-7662 or idominguez@nacdl.org
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