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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.
Harvey A. Silverglate is counsel to Bostons Zalkind, Rodriguez, Lunt Duncan LLP, specializing in criminal defense civil liberties, and academic freedom/student right law. He is founder and co-chairman of Fire(Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) and is a regular columnist for The Boston Phoenix. Silverglate has been published in The National Law Journal. The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times Book Review and elsewhere. He is author of The Shadow University with Alan Charles Kors.
Table of Contents
Preface to the Paperback Edition
Introduction: Traps and Snares for the Unwary Innocent
eeling in the Great White, and Other Tales of Fishing for State and Local Pols
Giving Doctors Orders
The Unhealthy Pursuit of Medical Device and Drug Companies75
Following (or Harassing?) the Money
Accounting for the Perils Facing Business Support Services: The Late Arthur Andersen & Co. and Its Repercussions
Lawyers: Government Offense Against the Best Defense
Doing Their Duty (or Committing Espionage?) and Other Media Twilight Zones
National Security: Protecting the Nation from Merchants, Artists, Professors, Students and Lobbyists for Non-Profits?
Conclusion: For Whom the Bell Tolls
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