Two interesting and related articles from the WSJ
As Criminal Laws Proliferate, More Are Ensnared
the number of people sentenced to federal prison has risen nearly threefold over the past 30 years to 83,000 annually. The U.S. population grew only about 36% in that period. The total federal prison population, over 200,000, grew more than eightfold—twice the growth rate of the state prison population, now at 2 million, according the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics
Federal Asset Seizures Rise, Netting Innocent With Guilty
Last year (2010), forfeiture programs confiscated homes, cars, boats and cash in more than 15,000 cases. The total take topped $2.5 billion, more than doubling in five years, Justice Department statistics show.