And these laws are scattered in over 50 titles of the United States Code, encompassing roughly 27,000 pages" (Rosenzweig, 2003).
The criminal laws now deal with even minor offenses like spitting on the street, swearing, behavior in public places etc. These laws also deal with sexual offenses or behavior that over the years has evolved. The issues of 'White Collar crimes' that must have been dealt by specialized civil laws are now the part of the criminal laws. Similarly the street laws that should have been enforced by the state laws are also now part of the federal criminal laws.
Criticism is hurled in the way of such legislations that they are most of the times too harsh on crimes committed by citizens. Over criminalization, is considered to be more politically motivated. These laws seem to be an attempt by politicians and federal bureaucrats to deal with crime rates. Instead of emphasizing the protection of individual rights, it preserves the political interests of the state and certain majority groups. The nature of such laws is such that it could lead to the misuse of criminal laws. The plummeted growth of such federal criminal laws has given way to a debate that over criminalization has resulted in crisis situation in America.
Ethics and morality aspects come under discussion when the topic of over criminalization is debated. ...Show more