February 14, 2014

A HERCULEAN AND SISYPHEAN TASK: Supplying the Information Required by Law: Directing the Federal Government to Identify All Federal Criminal Laws.

The American legal system has always presumed—often incorrectly[3]—that every person knows every criminal law. In fact, no one—no police officer, no prosecutor, no judge, and no law professor—knows all of them.[4] One reason why this problem has existed is that there is no compendium of all federal criminal laws that a person—or a lawyer—could turn to when issues arise.

In the past the Justice Department and the American Bar Association (ABA) separately attempted to prepare a list of federal offenses. Neither the Justice Department nor the ABA succeeded, no other component of the executive branch has picked up the baton since then, and no comprehensive, easily accessible list exists today.

This, it seems to me, makes the criminal law itself a due process violation. But then, I’ve written on this before.

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