Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent

Author: Harvey Silverglate
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by sneak   2022-10-23

You are incorrect.

by arcticbull   2022-08-30
The reality is that there are so many crimes in the United States that the set itself is uncountable. There have been a number of attempts to count. I guarantee you that you have, today alone, accrued enough legal liability to put you away for the rest of your life.

Part of what makes this difficult to even count in the first place are bills like the Lacey act which makes it a felony for you to violate any other countries fish and wildlife laws - if you ever came into possession of a dead lobster less than 6 inches long for any reason - felony.

What happens is the folks who end up in prison haven't accrued any more of less liability - instead they drew attention.

If you'd like to learn more I recommend Three Felonies a Day. [1]

I guess the question I have for you is why aren't you in prison now? Why did you choose to commit all those crimes, and what makes you exempt?

Further if your argument is then 'well I shouldn't be in prison because I didn't get caught' - now you're no longer arguing that these people shouldn't have 'done crimes' your argument is they should have been better at it?


by inglor_cz   2022-04-23
Richest, yes.

Healthiest, it depends. Obesity and metabolic diseases are at their record highs. That's not health. You can medicate those patients to survive, but that's not health. Go to any street and count all the people who would lose their breath after walking three flights of stairs. This is a major civilizational regression and we don't seem to be attacking it at all.

Freest, really? How do you measure this? Certainly there is more rules to comply with than ever before, you are unlikely to be aware of all of them [0].


by nobody9999   2022-03-14
>In that case everyone should become a criminal.

While it is somewhat hyperbolic, *Three Felonies a Day"[0][1] seems relevant here.



by PhoenixJ3   2021-12-10

You are misrepresenting my advice. I never suggested it as a first resort or the best choice for everyone in all situations. As you can see from my advice, posted hours ago, I agree with your first instincts, but don't just dismiss firearms outright:

You probably commit multiple felonies a day without realizing it, the laws are so convoluted:

If they want to get you, they get you. Just because something is illegal doesn't make it wrong. Protecting yourself + others should be more important to you than legality. I think most victims of violent crime would rather be in court defending themselves than dead or in the hospital.

by dontspamjay   2021-12-10

That's almost certainly not true for you or the average person.

You should read the book Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent

by MesaDixon   2021-12-10

Combine the concept behind this book with machine learning A.I. data mining everything we do and it will be possible to lock up the whole country.

Oh, wait...

by smnrchrds   2021-11-06
A few years ago an American lawyer wrote a book called Three Felonies a Day [0] whose premise is that "the average professional 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". If pressing F12 is a crime, the average software developer must be committing three felonies an hour.


by smnrchrds   2021-10-28
There is a book called Three Felonies A Day with the same premise. I have not personally read it so I cannot vouch for its accuracy. That being said, this is what the description for the book says:

> The average professional 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 A. 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, for even the most seemingly innocuous behavior. The volume of federal crimes in recent decades has increased 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. The dangers spelled out in Three Felonies a Day do not apply solely to “white collar criminals,” state and local politicians, and professionals. No social class or profession is safe from this troubling form of social control by the executive branch, and nothing less than the integrity of our constitutional democracy hangs in the balance.

by CapitalistCartr   2021-10-26
None of the prior comment is hyperbole. Everything has happened, multiple times that we know of.

"Three Felonies a Day"

by zepto   2021-09-20
> You don't seem to understand how the law works. The Federal offenses are not prosecuted. The State offenses are. My statement is true.

It’s only true in a narrow technical sense. You were clearly trying to give the impression that people were simply getting away with these offenses, when what is actually happening is that the federal government doesn’t see the need to prosecute people who are already being prosecuted by the states.

> It's a sloppy way for the people in power to ignore equal application of the law by picking and choosing who deserves it, which to me undermines the very principle of rule of law.

Prosecutorial discretion definitely undermines the rule of law, and is a well known people, but it’s everywhere in every justice system and has nothing to do with the government’s approach to guns.

As for the Kendi definition, I was using black in this example because most gun control laws disproportionately affect black people. Substitute other races if you like.

I don’t need to refute your position with data - that’s not what’s wrong with it.

We’ve shown that your 3% claim was misleading as presented.

by inglor_cz   2021-01-14

I am biased by the fact that I grew up in late Communist Czechoslovakia, but the American self-assuredness that "they only come for the bad guys" strikes me as very short-sighted. Precisely the USA with its long history of systemic discrimination against various outgroups should be wary of this kind of complacency.

by kube-system   2020-11-27
by kilkonie   2019-11-17

I'm pretty sure your comment was half-hearted, but here's an Amazon book recommendation for you:

by ultimatefighting   2019-11-17

Right, assuming that a case even gets that far.

AND that there happens to be a liberty minded juror.

But what you describe is incredibly fcked up.

Most of us dont even give a sht. Why would we, we're not criminals. We dont care or have to worry about how those scum bags are treated.

Problem is, with so many rules, regulations and laws on the books, there are many innocent people who can very well end up in the exact scenario that you described.

by GnosticGnome   2019-11-17

>That isn't really a very good reason though is it?

It's the best reason, no? Dealing with facts as they are, not facts as you might wish they were. Bad laws are a fact of life. Why double down on a bad law by passing new ones that make it worse?

Like right now, it's illegal to throw away junk mail addressed to the previous owner. That's a felony. Sure, the best option is to fix that. But until then, do you advocate spending billions of dollars to enforce that law? Doesn't it make more sense to turn a blind eye to it?

The average American commits three felonies a day. I think some crimes are worth singling out as particularly worthy of enforcement (rape, murder, robbery, etc etc) but border crossing? Why spend more when enforcement is actively bad for us?

by noposters   2019-11-17

There's a great book on this topic called Three Felonies a Day

by BTC_Brin   2019-11-17

Harvey Silverglate told us all that we commit an average of Three Felonies A Day.

by IridescentAnaconda   2019-11-17

Given that the average American commits 3 felonies per day, I guess you agree that everybody belongs in jail? Maybe even you do.

by cbanek   2019-09-18
Violent crime isn't all crime, and I think the counterexample to what you're talking about is the number of non-violent laws we make:

We have so many laws that basically the legal system can find something wrong you've done, which makes everyone criminals. It's only a question of if they will charge you with it. You can't have a crime without a law, because a crime is when you break a law.

The war on drugs I would definitely say is crime expanding, as we are taking things that was legal, or more legal (even while dangerous or stupid) and are making them illegal. Now a substance abuse problem is also a criminal problem.

Same for three strikes, because many times you're taking a simple crime and over penalizing it. If the US's crime rate has been dropping so quickly, why do we have such a high prison population?

I also am not sure we're making that many new laws for violent crime. I think that is more or less well described.

And just because it's my favorite saying, "correlation is not causation!"