Washington D.C.’s Most Wanted Fugitives: Golfer Harassers, Skirtless Mopeds Riders, Pig Owners, and More

Bankrx / shutterstock.com
Bankrx / shutterstock.com

As partisans continue to debate various facets of our nation’s broken criminal justice system, I’d argue that perhaps no aspect deserves greater scrutiny than the scourge of over-criminalization. While many would rather sidestep this thorny topic altogether – opting instead to tackle seemingly sexier subjects such as sentencing reforms or correctional facility improvements (both vital endeavors, don’t misunderstand me!) – ignoring this behemoth won’t make it disappear anytime soon. And trust me when I assert that its sheer magnitude warrants far closer examination.

To put things into perspective, consider this staggering statistic: between 4,500-5,000 federal criminal statues exist alongside approximately 400,000 regulatory provisions saddled with potential criminal repercussions! That’s right; merely uttering an annoyance-inducing phrase within earshot of another human being inside a national forest could conceivably lead to legal entanglements under certain circumstances… talk about Orwellian nightmares come true!

Now, back in 2013, Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., then-Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee’s Overcriminalization Task Force, requested the non-partisan Congressional Research Service furnish him with a comprehensive list detailing each individual federal offense extant across America’s sprawling legislative landscape. Alas, even CRS threw up its hands in defeat, citing insufficient manpower’ and financial wherewithal necessary to undertake what amounts to Sisyphean labor:

“…they lack the manpower and resources to accomplish this task.”

So, until the federal government agrees to get rid of some of the nonsense laws on the books, we’re dealing with quite a few that will make you roll your eyes and even laugh out loud:

  • Don’t wash fish at a faucet unless it’s a fish-washing faucet.
  • Pigs cannot enter a fenced-in area on public lands.
  • You cannot harass a golfer in any DC national park.
  • You cannot consult with a known pirate.
  • Your dog cannot make any loud noise that would scare wildlife in a national park.
  • You cannot injure a government-owned lamp.
  • You cannot sell onion rings made from diced onion while calling it an onion ring.

The list goes on. Ridiculous, right?