Overcriminalization Advocacy & Scholarship

NACDL is fully committed to stemming and reversing the tide of overcriminalization. This page contains information and materials on the efforts of NACDL and its allies to tackle the problem of overcriminalization and foster meaningful reform, as well as, related scholarship and programming. Visit the Face of Overcriminalization webpage for personal stories of overcriminalization. 

Advocacy & Related Press

Interview:  NACDL Executive Director Norman Reimer on Overcriminalization 

Legislative Tool:  Criminal Law Checklist for Federal Legislators  

Overcriminalization Task Force: All materials related to the work and hearings of this House Judiciary Committee Task Force is available here

Congressional Hearing on "Reining in Overcriminalization: Assessing the Problems, Proposing Solutions," September 28, 2010 

Capitol Hill Release Event for "Without Intent: How Congress Is Eroding the Criminal Intent Requirement in Federal Law," May 5, 2010 

Congressional Hearing on "Over-criminalization of Conduct and Over-Federalization of Criminal Law," July 22, 2009  



  • "A Conversation With Abbe David Lowell" - This unique one hour program with prominent defense attorney Abbe D. Lowell discusses lessons learned from his defense of John Edwards, and other prominent politicians, and explores the overcriminalization implications of such prosecutions.  Click here to watch! 
  • Podcast:  Timothy O'Toole & James Copland on Overcriminalization - Timothy O'Toole, criminal defense attorney with Miller Chevalier and NACDL Board Member, and James Copland, director of the Center for Legal Policy at the Manhattan Institute, discuss overcriminalization at federal and state levels.  Click here for the audio! 
  • Hill Staffer Training: Have You Committed a Felony Today? - Federal criminal laws present a labyrinth that is difficult for staffers to navigate in order to stay on the right side of the law.  On October 7, 2011, NACDL and the Heritage Foundation co-hosted a training on Capitol Hill to address this very issue.  This panel of experts explores the pitfalls facing Hill staffers in federal criminal law and shares insights on what staffers can do to avoid being prosecuted for how they do their job.  For anyone working on or around Capitol Hill, this must-see program will help you answer that critical question: Have you committed a felony today?  Click here for the video! 


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