Eleventh Circuit Has Opportunity in “U.S. v. Clay” to Reshape Prosecutors’ & Courts’ Approach on Criminal Intent

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Please see the link to the Washington Legal Foundation Legal Pulse posting that addresses the role of judges in connection with regulatory criminal prosecutions. This is an outstanding piece — written before the Clay appellate oral argument — that makes clear that judges should pull cases from juries and enter judgments of acquittal where no crime has been committed as a matter of law. In other words, in today’s environment, where the government routinely overreaches due to ambiguous and powerful criminal statutes, judges should not send cases for jury deliberation where it is clear that legally no crime has been committed. In the regulatory context, where business people make reasonable judgments about legal interpretations, individuals should not risk an adverse jury determination. This is especially true in today’s toxic environment where ordinary business people have been demonized and marginalized in the news media and by politicians.

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