Position Paper on Over Criminalization in the United States

Essay by dmjarrett88University, Bachelor'sA+, November 2009

download word file, 5 pages 1.0

IntroductionOver criminalization in the United States has a meaning in which the law is used to solve every situation, prosecute every mistake, and force Americans to behave according to the Criminal Justice system. Criminal Law is set forth to set the conduct that Americans think is deserving of the best punishment and ethical sanction. In the case of uncontrolled over criminalization, petty conduct is punishable as a crime. There are so many criminal laws out there that give the government the opportunity to convict a person even if he or she acted without mens rea. Court decisions have risen especially at the federal level.

The government has an act called the Patriot Act which enables them to enter our private lives without us knowing. The can do it without a warrant and take what they feel is necessary. It's because of this act that society is fed up with the government.

This paper will discuss how far government sanction views of mortality are allowed into the private lives of American citizens. This paper will also have opinions based on whether the writer believes or not if the crisis over criminalization actually exists.

Analysis on positionThe private lives of citizens are being overrun by the government. The mortality on how far the government can go into the private lives of citizens does have its limitations. It's been said that the government doesn't have a life. It's because of this that the government needs to spy on our private lives. For citizens, this means that everything that is not prohibited by law is permitted. As for the government, nothing is permitted that is not cleared by the law first. The government has infiltrated the lives of the American people for far too long and if any more laws are brought into society the American people must band together and argue their points for privacy. I believe that any new laws made by the government witch abeles them to interfere in our lives to be rejected by us. I don't think that our founding fathers had this in mind when it comes to our government and their responsibilities. It's our democracy that guarantees our freedom.

The limitations mentioned above are plentiful. The government has stepped up the interference in our lives ever since 9/11. However, in 2003, America has hit a turning point on the civil liberties we should have but don't because of the Patriot Act. It was during this year in which the House of Representatives passed an amendment denying the Department of Justice the right to sneak into our homes and view our private files without a warrant. The House also passed an amendment which prohibits the Justice Department from making book stores and libraries pass over material and content to them which have been read by patrons. These two amendment victories are good starting points for us that the government can no longer use as an excuses to try to stop terrorism. Americans need to understand that even though we rely on the government for protection against terrorist, we must not allow them to interfere in our liberty as American citizens. Since 9/11 we have been blinded by the government having them make us think by using wire taps and other spying techniques that their actually protecting us when in fact, that's just an excuse for the government to invade our privacy.

With the government standing on our doorsteps and not knocking but just coming right in, that takes away our rights and responsibilities as citizens. Because of this, we are no longer able to discipline our children in fear that we would be hauled off to jail for abuse. We must watch we say either in public or on the phone because of who might be listening who could portray those comments as racists or life threatening to others residing in this country or to our government thinking that we are a threat to America. Different technology is coming out for the government to spy on us without us knowing about it. Red light cameras are just the beginning. According to Harper J. (2001), "Networked cameras will soon be able to track cars throughout a city and on the highways. And database technology will make it possible to create permanent records of the movements of all cars captured on camera". This all sounds good, but I for one don't want the government knowing where I'm going if I haven't done anything wrong and am just minding my own business.

Over criminalization in America has grown to be a problem throughout the ages. The government does their job and the police do their job. But who is watching the government for mistakes or the police for mistakes. Over criminalization has filtered into our private lives. It has gone into our homes and even as far as into our bedrooms. I myself don't blame the government or the police. Instead I blame each one of us for allowing over criminalization to enter our private lives. We allow outside sources to enter our lives. Over criminalization I believe does exist in this country. It exists because the law exceeds the boundaries of legitimate functions. When one is charged with an assault because he or she pushed and didn't cause any bodily injury or if one took one dollar and is charged with grand larceny instead of robbery, it is considered over criminalization. To me it's considered over criminalization because the person was charged with a heavier crime when he or she didn't deserve it. A good example of over criminalization would be someone acting as an assistant to a crime but didn't cause the main damage of the crime. This person would be held responsible for causing the actual crime when in fact he or she didn't and was there only as an observer or assistant. Some forms of over criminalization can also be assigned to people who clearly have the freedom of expression but are criminalized because of what they wore in a particular group to look as though they were part of an organization that the country dislikes. So yes, over criminalization does exist in the country and to my knowledge has been has been a part of the nation for quite some time. Should some circumstances be stopped? Of course. Will it? Probably not. Some believe that there is too much criminal law in the nation. "There are too many distinct criminal prohibitions and that between them they cover too wide a range of human actions". Hausak D. (2008)ConclusionThe government has been invading the private lives of American citizens for a long time. It has only gotten worse since the terrorist attacks that happened on 9/11. People are having their private lives being looked at without them knowing it. From having their phones tapped to having their cars watched by cameras in the streets the American people are being watched and listened to against their free will.

Over criminalization is a problem that exists in this country to this day. Members of society who chose to do the wrong thing get punished as they should. It's not wrong to punish the guilty. To punish them to a greater extent then what's called for is considered over criminalization. This type of criminalization should be stopped. It's not the way the Criminal Justice system should be used to punish criminals whose crimes don't qualify as the most extreme of offenses.

ReferencesHarper, J. (2001). Privacilla.org. Past Releases and Reports. Retrieved May 18, 2009, from http://www.privacilla.org/releases/red-light_camera_testimony.htmlHusak, D. (2008). Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews. Over Criminalization: The Limits of the Criminal Law. Retrieved May 18, 2009, from http://ndpr.nd.edu/review.cfm?id=13805