The Champion

May 2010 , Page 9 

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'Without Intent' -- NACDL Makes the Case for Responsible Lawmaking (Inside NACDL)

By Norman L. Reimer

Read more Inside NACDL columns.

When the arc of justice bends relentlessly toward injustice, right and left meet. Thus, it is not surprising that after decades of federal overcriminalization, NACDL, the voice of the criminal defense bar, and The Heritage Foundation, a stalwart of conservative doctrine, have united to oppose this trend. Past collaborations between the two organizations include ongoing efforts to oppose the enactment of new crimes and to safeguard the attorney-client privilege.

Now, NACDL and The Heritage Foundation have launched a drive to get to the root of the problem, i.e., shoddy lawmaking that is systematically diminishing the criminal intent requirement – a moral anchor of the American criminal justice system. People should not be subjected to criminal prosecution and conviction unless they intentionally engage in inherently wrongful conduct or conduct that they know has been deemed unlawful. Yet, with each passing session, Congress produces a cascade of new criminal statutes that feature incons

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