News Release

Nation's Criminal Defense Bar Applauds Reauthorization of Bipartisan Congressional Task Force on Overcriminalization

Washington, DC (Feb. 5, 2014) – Today, the House Judiciary Committee adopted a resolution reauthorizing the bipartisan Overcriminalization Task Force for an additional six months, through August 5, 2014. According to a press release issued by the House Judiciary Committee, the Task Force will continue to be evenly comprised of Democratic and Republican Members of Congress. The Task Force is led by Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) and Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-Va.).

NACDL President Jerry J. Cox said: "NACDL is pleased that the Congressional Overcriminalization Task Force will continue its important work. It is NACDL’s fervent hope that the task force will make significant progress on issues including the erosion of the intent requirement in federal criminal law, the explosion of criminal provisions throughout the federal code and regulations in recent decades, mandatory minimum sentencing reform, the myriad collateral consequences of a conviction and barriers to successful re-entry, over-incarceration, over-federalization of the criminal law, unfair plea bargaining practices, and the host of failed criminal justice policies that have contributed to the shame of the United States having more people behind bars, in absolute numbers and per capita, than any nation on earth. It is time these demonstrable injustices, and the accompanying wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars, be brought to a swift conclusion."

Since the Overcriminalization Task Force was first authorized last May, it has held four substantive hearings on Capitol Hill, with NACDL leadership testifying as witnesses at two of those hearings. Links to webcasts of all four of the Task Force’s hearings and the written testimony of all of the witnesses are available at And to learn more about NACDL’s extensive work on the problem of overcriminalization in America, visit

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Ivan Dominguez, Director of Public Affairs and Communications (202) 465-7662 or

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal legal system.