Three Felonies A Day:How The Feds Target The Innocent by Harvey A. Silverglate
July 1, 2010 by Bob Livingston
This is a timely book about the breakdown of the rule of law in the United States.
Individual freedom and the rule of law is gone in America. Oh, they haven’t come for you yet? You haven’t broken the law? Well, Harvey Silverglate proves in Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent that the Feds (U.S. prosecuting attorneys) target the innocent. He says the, “federal prosecutors are abusing their power by using the criminal law to prosecute law abiding citizens…” They are seizing illegal power by twisting marginal and highly questionable interpretations of criminal law.
Silverglate believes that we are in danger of becoming a society in which prosecutors alone become judges, juries and executioners because the threat of high sentences make it too costly for even innocent people to resist the prosecutorial pressure.
Federal judgeships are drawn largely from U.S. prosecuting attorneys simply because they enforce the system upon citizens. They ensure that all cases are decided for the government agenda.
The pattern is to intimidate all criminally charged defendants today to plead guilty to “reduced” charges rather than risk a trial with the threat of draconian sentences in the implied event of a conviction. No trial? This means that the Federal prosecuting attorney is the judge and the jury.
Unless we have missed the point here, all Americans are now subject to entrapment. Innocence or guilt has nothing to do with a judiciary gone wild.
You can commit a Federal crime in America and not even know it. People are targeted and a crime is found to fit.
Silverglate writes, “it is only a slight exaggeration to say that the average busy professional in this country wakes up in the morning, goes to work, comes home, takes care of personal and family obligations and then goes to sleep, unaware that he or she likely committed several Federal crimes that day.” Why?
The answer lies in the huge volume of Federal criminal laws which are broad and impossibly vague. They have become dangerously disconnected from English common law tradition.
There is a crime for all of us. Currently there are 4,450 listed criminal offenses. These listed Federal offenses have exploded well beyond the statute books and into the morass of the Code of Federal Regulations, giving Federal prosecutors thousands of additional vague, complex and technical prohibitions removed from congressional authority or any authority but the Federal prosecutors themselves.
Will citizens ever understand the danger posed to civil liberties when our normal daily activities expose us to potential prosecution at the whim of a government official?
Silverglate writes, “No field of work, all corporate officers, all social classes are not safe from this illegal and unconstitutional executive and judicial overreach and social control.
“When every citizen is vulnerable to prosecution and prison, then there is no effective counterweight to reign in government overreaching in every sphere. The hallowed notion of a government of laws becomes a cruel and cynical joke.”
What we write about here is the exact Soviet system and evil empire that Americans have been taught to hate.
All we have to do now is remove the mask of “democracy” to view our modern American Soviet system.
It is also the exact same old English Star Chamber system that early Americans fought to escape in the Revolutionary War with England. The English Star Chamber was abolished in 1641. It was Royal oppression with corporal punishment using torture, mutilation and life imprisonment. It met in secret whereas today the Federal judiciary uses esoteric language to subvert the intent of the law. It is more “benevolent” but just as wicked.
We have come full circle and sadly not one American in a million even suspects it. Here is the great danger, as Silverglate states:
“Today the Justice Department encourages Federal prosecutors to do exactly what the Garber Court condemned. In particular, Federal prosecutors’ novel use of long standing, but utterly formless ‘anti-fraud’ laws, which cover increasingly vast areas of American life, threaten honest (and apparently law abiding) business executives and other professionals, as well as other ordinary citizens. In 2003, Michael Chertoff, then second in command of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, even went so far as to boldly declare that federal prosecutors should exploit anti-fraud provisions to indict business executives because ‘criminal prosecution is a spur for institutional reform.’”
The thrust of the Federal government and its untouchable Justice Department is to expand the reach of the law. My friends, this is characteristic of all governments. But the U.S. today is our concern. Even commonly used statutes of conspiracy, bribery, extortion, etc. are all designed forms of entrapment by a rogue system.
“Even the most intelligent and informed citizen (including lawyers and judges) cannot predict with any reasonable assurance whether a wide range of seemingly ordinary activities might be regarded by federal prosecutors as felonies.”
Any sober and alert person should read this book. The shock of his revelations should evoke max alert with all deliberate preparations to defend our lives, our families and our assets. To view the contents as anything other than modern tyranny under the color of law is naiveté in the extreme.
In my 45 years of writing I have never come close to recommending a book with such high and timely revelations for every American citizen. Get this book immediately. I am surprised to see it in circulation.