Congress and Crime

Congress and Crime : The Impact of Federalization of State Criminal Laws

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Congress in the latter part of the nineteenth century decided to enact a series of statutes facilitating state enforcement of their respective criminal laws. Subsequently, Congress enacted statutes federalizing what had been solely state crimes, thereby establishing federal court and state court concurrent jurisdiction over these crimes. Federalization of state crimes has been criticized by numerous scholars, U.S. Supreme Court justices, and national organizations. Such federalization has congested the calendars of the U.S. District Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals leading to delays in civil cases because of the Speedy Trial Act that vacates a criminal indictment if a trial is not commenced within a specific number of days, resulted in over-crowded U.S. penitentiaries, and raises the issue of double jeopardy that is prohibited by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the constitution of each state. This book examines the impact of federalization of state crime and draws conclusions regarding its desirability.
It also offers recommendations directed to Congress and the President, one recommendation direct to state legislatures for remedial actions to reduce the undesirable effects of federalized state crimes, and one recommendation that Congress and all states enter into a federal-interstate criminal suppression compact.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 176 pages
  • 156 x 232 x 18mm | 419.99g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 1 Tables, unspecified
  • 0739198068
  • 9780739198063

Table of contents

Chapter One: The Federal System Chapter Two: Interstate and Federal State-Cooperation Chapter Three: Congress as a Facilitator Chapter Four: Protection of Women and Children Chapter Five: The Impact of Federalized State Crimes Chapter Six: Cooperative Federalism and the Crime Problem
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Review quote

Zimmerman knows his subject well...This book contains a tremendous amount of information in a small space. It should prove useful to criminal justice scholars, legal scholars and political scientists. I recommend it without reservation. Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books The usual comprehensive and highly descriptive survey of an important federalism issue one expects from this author, with a mine of information for research and policy recommendations for student debates. -- John Kincaid, Lafayette College Joseph Zimmerman's rich and extensive contributions to federalism and intergovernmental relations scholarship have broadened and deepened knowledge about areas that previously had not been adequately covered. This research continues that tradition. Focusing on the impact of congressional federalization of state crimes on the U.S. and state judicial systems, Dr. Zimmerman expertly examines the record of interstate and federal-state cooperation in strengthening enforcement of state criminal laws, identifies negative effects of congressional federalization, and proposes criteria for Congress to use in deciding whether to take such action. His recommendations to the Congress, President, and state legislatures for remedial measures should generate much-needed discussion and debate. This book is a must-read for those concerned about important trends and issues in judicial federalism. -- Carl W. Stenberg, University of North Carolina
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About Joseph F. Zimmerman

Joseph F. Zimmerman is professor of political science in Rockefeller College of the University at Albany.
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