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Licensed and marine biologist in California faces a possible sentence of twenty years in prison.
For feeding a whale during her research this is -- and saying to you.
It's just par for the course thanks to the criminal as -- -- just about everything we do every single day.
Here to tell us why the government is threatening justice and freedom is Harvey -- -- author of the great book three felonies that day.
Advanced target the innocent and a great defender of personal freedom -- it's a pleasure to welcome freedom watch.
I'm glad to be -- sorry it's necessary sorry it's necessary as well big picture before we talk about some of these -- stories.
That you discuss in the book and some of which you've you've tried as as a lawyer.
How did we get to the point where the federal criminal code is so long nobody can read it where there's got to be over 4000 crimes.
And where the government could find almost anybody guilty of something at some point in the 24 hours of the day.
Well some of.
He statutes have been on the books for many many decades.
The fact is they started to be abused -- about the mid 1980s and it's gotten increasingly worse every year.
And the problem isn't so much that these 4000 statutes and by the way.
Hundreds of thousands of regulations -- didn't statutes each of which can you be used to prosecute any of us the problem isn't only there was so many.
The problem is that a lot of them were so vague that it's impossible.
To figure -- including -- experienced lawyer.
I can't figure out the conduct that they're -- -- are at went when you and I want to law school and even the generation after us.
The basic rule of law was something called men's race before you could Begin -- -- the government had to prove -- -- a guilty mind.
That you intended it to caused -- harm that you caused you -- we're breaking the -- and you intended to do so.
-- the government still have to prove that to date in order to convict undermining federal statutes -- has that changed.
This is the do what you're talking about -- -- mens re a requirement you have to know what the lawyers and you have that we intend to violated and that intentional week.
That applies to state laws that's an old that's a handover from the old English common law that's older -- United States itself.
The problem is that the mens Rea requirement that's not what dramatically.
Applied a federal civil of the criminal statutes congress has to specify.
A knowledge and -- that requirement for each statute.
And it usually fails to do so -- our marine biologist.
Thinking he's doing or she's doing the right thing.
In examining a whale not hurting the -- and anyway not imagining our wildest dreams that feeding the -- as a crime who nevertheless feeds the whale.
Could be prosecuted and go to jail for twenty years.
Yes because the statute doesn't require that the marine biologist -- -- and to do the well any -- -- even know that this might be a crime and that to tell you the truth.
I'm a lawyer I've read -- -- I don't know there's.
But what we're doing this endangering.
Them out holes but some federal or has -- well what about.
That if she stands and I've got -- -- glad it's a pleasure keep fighting this fight and thanks for joining us they talked -- that the Americans.