We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
With more than 4,000 crimes in federal statutes and more than 300,000 more crimes specified in various federal regulations, every complex commercial enterprise is inevitably vulnerable to federal prosecution-and thus, given federal prosecutors' leverage, to oversight through a deferred- or non-prosecution agreement. What that means is that the Department of Justice has sweeping regulatory authority, which according to the D.C. Circuit's April decision in United States v. Fokker Services, federal judges have next to no power to review.
While federal prosecutors regularly insist on such business restructurings for companies to avoid prosecution, none of these "remedies" are authorized by statute or would be available as sanctions upon the company's conviction at trial.
Making rules up according to the whims of the fiefdom prince seems to be de rigueur among our bureaucratic masters.
"FedEx could afford to take that risk, and fight back, in part because the criminal charges levied against it were fairly ludicrous, but also because the case was easy to understand for its customers. More or less, the shipping company took its customers' side. As Judge Breyer suggested, the government was essentially asking FedEx to snoop on its customers and open their packages-which has privacy-law implications, in addition to being bad for business."
It says that UPS did sign the agreement. Do you think that UPS is snooping on their customers like the feds wanted FedEx to do?
We should note that in the Anglosphere statute law is very young, only a few centuries old. And sadly it was something Americans took to from the start.
Thus at first the American people got the notion of law-making; of the making of new law, by legislatures, frequently elected; and in that most radical period of all, from about 1830 to 1860, the time of “isms” and reforms — full of people who wanted to legislate and make the world good by law, with a chance to work in thirty different States — the result has been that the bulk of legislation in this country, in the first half of the last century, is probably one thousandfold the entire law-making of England for the five centuries preceding. And we have by no means got over it yet; probably the output of legislation in this country to-day is as great as it ever was. If any citizen thinks that anything is wrong, he, or she (as it is almost more likely to be), rushes to some legislature to get a new law passed. Absolutely different is this idea from the old English notion of law as something already existing. They have forgotten that completely, and have the modern American notion of law, as a ready-made thing, a thing made to-day to meet the emergency of to-morrow.
Which leaves us in this condition:
But no one, I think, has ever called attention to the enormous differences in living, in business, in political temper between the days (which practically lasted until the last century) when a citizen, a merchant, an employer of labor, or a laboring man, still more a corporation or association and lastly, a man even in his most intimate relations, the husband and the father, well knew the law as familiar law, a law with which he had grown up, and to which he had adapted his life, his marriage, the education of his children, his business career and his entrance into public life -- and these days of to-day, when all those doing business under a corporate firm primarily, but also those doing business at all; all owners of property, all employers of labor, all bankers or manufacturers or consumers; all citizens, in their gravest and their least actions, also must look into their newspapers every morning to make sure that the whole law of life has not been changed for them by a statute passed overnight; when not only no lawyer may maintain an office without the most recent day-by-day bulletins on legislation, but may not advise on the simplest proposition of marriage or divorce, of a wife's share in a husband's property, of her freedom of contract, without sending not only to his own State legislature, but for the most recent statute of any other State which may have a bearing on the situation.
--Popular Law-making: A Study of the Origin, History, and Present Tendencies of Law-making by Statute, Frederic J. Stimson (1910)
Stimson makes a good point regarding making sin criminal:
Now this is a very interesting matter, and were it borne in mind by our modem legislators they would escape a good deal of unintelligent legislation; that is, the distinction between a sin and a crime. A sin is against the church, or against one's conscience; matter, therefore, for the priest, or one's spiritual adviser. A crime is an offense against other men; that is, against the state, in which all are concerned. Under the intelligent legislation of the twelfth century all matters which were sins, which concerned the conscience, were left to the church to prevent or punish. For the same reason usury was matter for the priest — because it was regarded under the doctrines of the Bible as a sin. This notion prevailed down to the early legislation of the colony of Massachusetts, though doubtless many things which were then considered sins would now be regarded as crimes, such as bigamy, for instance. The distinction is, nevertheless, a valid one, and we shall have occasion frequently to refer to it. We shall find that the defect of much of our modem legislation — prohibition laws, for instance — is that they attempt to treat as crimes, as offenses against the state, matters which are merely sins, offenses against the conscience or the individual who commits them.