Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent

Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent

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.

5 Responses


    Transcription of a talk by Dr Hurwitz >20 years ago.

  2. We all ought to be terrified, but this stuff is profitable. What we are seeing is the result of years of corruption and lies, propping up Ne Liberalism. The laws were supposed to protects us, but now they are weaponized against the vulnerable, while corporate criminals go free, with no accountability at all.

    • Respectfully Kathy don’t you confuse neoliberalism with neoconservatism above?
      It’s the Neocons that brought us wars for profit in the middle east, gave carte blanche to the for profit prison industry, and overwhelmingly represent behemoth multinational corporate interests over the U.S. citizen.

  3. Uhhhh…Yes…EXACTLY why we desperately need a change at the top of the Executive TODAY!
    Corrupt enabling lapdog AG. Cult-like followers. Attacks a free press. A banana republic system of rewarding family with highest level positions.
    Dems are far from perfect B-U-T today’s GOP is more of a danger to our constitution than we have EVER experienced.
    Authoritarianism is FAST turning TOTALITARIANISM.

  4. Chapter two describes the Case of Dr William Hurwitz, the first of many cases where DEA used the Controlled Substance Act AGAINST a Doctor

Leave a Reply to JM McMillan Cancel reply

%d bloggers like this: