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9/28 Congressional Hearing: Reining in Overcriminalization

Implicit in tomorrow's 10:00 a.m. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on honest services fraud, which Carter linked last week, is the notion that there is a need to "restore" prosecutorial tools after the Skilling decision that reined in the vague federal honest-services-fraud law (see our post here and links therein). As our regular readers know, we tend to be skeptical; see Ted's article here; my op-ed here; and Marie Gryphon's writings here, here, and here.

Interestingly, there is another Congressional hearing tomorrow, on the House side, which promises a look at federal criminal law more in keeping with our views:

At 3 p.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building, room 2141, the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security is holding a hearing entitled "Reining in Overcriminalization: Assessing the Problems, Proposing Solutions." All the hearing details have not yet been released, but based on my knowledge of the staff's plans, it promises to be a very provocative panel with victim witnesses, similar to last summer's hearing on the same topic. Those in the D.C. area should check it out.


The witness list is as follows:

Panel I

  • Jim Lavine, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

  • Bobby Unser, Personal Impact Victim, Albuquerque, NM

  • Abner Schoenwetter, Personal Impact Victim, Pinecrest, FL

Panel II

  • Brian Walsh, The Heritage Foundation

  • Stephen Smith, University of Notre Dame Law School

  • Ellen S. Podgor, Stetson University College of Law

  • Andrew Weissmann, Jenner & Block, LLP

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Isaac Gorodetski
Project Manager,
Center for Legal Policy at the
Manhattan Institute

Katherine Lazarski
Press Officer,
Manhattan Institute


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The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.