United States v. Sen

Brief of National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as Amicus Curiae.

Brief filed: 10/06/2014


United States v. Sen

6th Circuit Court of Appeals; Case No. 14-5772 & 14-5786

Prior Decision

Decision below 24 F.Supp.3d 732 (E.D. Tenn. June 5, 2014).


The Constitution prohibits strict liability offenses except in the rarest of circumstances. Strict liability offenses are generally disfavored. This case is not the rare case. The expansion of strict liability crime stretches prosecutorial discretion to the breaking point. There has been an unwarranted expansion of federal criminal liability and, in particular, strict liability crimes. Expansion of federal criminal law especially in the area of strict liability crimes dangerously grants prosecutors too much discretion. This case is the poster child for prosecutorial overreach. Strict liability crimes distort the plea bargaining process.

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Gary J. Mouw and Conor B. Dugan, Varnum LLP, Grand Rapids, MI; Candace C. Crouse, Pinales Stachler Young Burrell & Crouse Co., L.P.A., Cincinnati, OH.