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Federal Criminal Law
Thomas Jefferson School of Law
Kaye, Anders

TOPIC 1: An Overview of Federal Criminal Law
Basic Questions:This establishes that the Federal is a complete and sovereign entity
· What is Federal Criminal Law? A set of Federal Statutes enacted by congress prohibiting you from engaging in certain conduct
· Who Prosecutes: Federal Prosecutors (US attorneys)
o US Attorney: one per district 94 appointed by President for 4 years term … but the majority of the prosecution is done by assistant US attorneys
o Attorney General: Watches over/responsible for the US attorneys and their assistants
o Attorney Generals à US Attorneys à Assistant US Attorneys
o DOJ = Also Prosecute a small percent
· Who Investigates/Enforces: FBI
o FBI: Federal Bureau of Investigation: comply evidence, investigate, … largest of the federal governments agency
o Secret Service: Protect the President
o DEA: half the size of the FBI
o Bureau of Alcohol and Firearms
o Federal Marshall
· Where are they are they enforced = Federal Courts
Why do we need a Federal Criminal Law at All, Why doesn’t the state handle it all by itself:
· Reasons AGAINST Federalism/ Broad Federal Criminal Law:
o Federalism: Interference with the state policy … broader the federal law the more likely it will interfere and undermined the states policy … “Federalism” – Gives too much power to the federal government: It allows the federal government to interfere with state policy and the more it will regulate the day to day lives of state citizens
§ Federalism = Divides up powers between the Federal and State government and this separation prevents the governments from having too much power over the other and thereby protects that citizens … Broad Federal Criminal Law
§ (1) Regulates Citizens Everyday life … (2) Interference with policy and state citizens
o Cost: The federal government may be viewed as redundant and wasteful because we already have state courts and state laws and this is an added layer that is redundant and requires allocation of funds
o Citizen Insecurity: An Act may be legal under state law but illegal under federal law this insecurity causes citizen anxiety being uncertain under dual sets of laws
o Labs: If we let the states handle the bulk of criminal law they may be able to create better solution than the federal government which is unable to apply different solutions.
§ States can serve as a Labs to discover a way to solve and grapple with social problems states are facing in their own way and if several states are dealing with the same problems these states can toy/experiment with different ways of solving the problem
§ As opposed to federal which can only apply 1 solution to the social problem and latch to it without even trying others and the states solution are unable to emerge as better or efficient
§ Effective State Innovations: Community policing, Special Drug Courts, Community based cou

r states without jurisdiction and thereby hinder the investigation and the prosecution of the ∆ … Likewise the State will be cautious prosecute its own ∆ but should the citizen of another state will be prosecuted with ease with less fear of hindering that outsiders rights (less appeals, Due Process issues )
o Federal Interest: Federal issues that deal with the health and safety of the Country … Crimes where the federal government has a special interest and more motivated to deal with crimes against its property and its officials (Ex: Terrorism on the White house, Prez. Federal property and personal, Military)
o Local Reluctance to Prosecute: Certain crimes that local prosecutors, local police will not be motivated to go after the crime
§ Ex: Public official engages in corruption, Attorney General accepts bribe, a State will likely not have motivation to go after or investigate the bribe
Ex: Local official whom has power over the investigators, the State will not likely have motivation to investigate the corrupt official because they are social friends, have power over them … Federals actors are not as vulnerable to the retaliation of the local groups (Ex: KKK)