News Release

NACDL and The Heritage Foundation invite you to a book event: Three Felonies a Day: How Vague Criminal Laws Allow the Feds to Target the Innocent

Featuring: Attorney and Author Harvey A. Silverglate  

Washington, DC­ (October 26, 2009) – The average citizen in this country wakes up in the morning, goes to work, comes home, eats dinner, and then goes to sleep, unaware that he or she has likely committed several federal crimes that day. Why? The answer lies in the very nature of modern federal criminal laws, which have exploded in number but also become impossibly broad and vague. In Three Felonies a Day, Harvey Silverglate reveals how federal criminal laws have become dangerously disconnected from the English common law tradition and how prosecutors can pin arguable federal crimes on any one of us, even for the most seemingly innocuous behavior.

Federal crimes in recent decades have increased in volume well beyond the statute books and into the morass of the Code of Federal Regulations, handing federal prosecutors an additional trove of vague and exceedingly complex and technical prohibitions to stick on their hapless targets.

Mr. Silverglate’s remarks to be followed by a brief legislative update by  

Brian W. Walsh Senior Legal Research Fellow, Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, The Heritage Foundation

Panel moderated by  

Shana-Tara Regon Director of White Collar Crime Policy, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Thursday, October 29, 2009
12:00 - 1:15 pm
(Lunch will be provided)
House Visitor’s Center 201 (HVC-201)
Capitol Visitor’s Center

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Copies of the author’s book, Three Felonies a Day, will be made available.

Please RSVP as soon as possible to or (202) 608-6205. For questions or additional information, contact: Shana-Tara Regon, NACDL, at, or Brian Walsh, The Heritage Foundation, at

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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.