by Brenée Goforth
Media Manager & Communications Associate, John Locke Foundation
JLF’s Mike Schietzelt was quoted in The Insider, a subscription service news/aggregation service published by the News & Observer for influencers in North Carolina. The piece covered the latest criminal recodification reform, Senate Bill 584, which requires rule-making bodies – such as local governments, state agencies, and licensing boards – to report the criminal offenses they have defined to the General Assembly by November 1. If they do not report, their ability to create crimes will be frozen for two years. The Insider quotes Schietzelt:
“The process to untangle this and provide transparency to the criminal code is going to have to start with a fact-finding mission,” said Mike Schietzelt, a criminal justice expert at the conservative John Locke Foundation, which has been pushing for “criminal law reform.”
While the piece notes the minor infractions that many localities have criminalized, it also references Schietzelt on another issue:
Another concern is criminal laws that vary between neighboring communities. Schietzelt noted that a resident of Burlington is allowed to keep up to three dogs, but if the person moved a few miles to Haw River, they’d face a limit of two dogs and might have to give one up.
The piece ended on Schietzelt’s recommendations:
Schietzelt recommends [the General Assembly] appoint a “recodification commission.” “There’s going to need to be a group of experts who take a look at the criminal law and create an accessible code that North Carolinians can refer to,” he said. The commission’s work could include deleting “crimes that probably shouldn’t be crimes,” he added.
Learn more about criminal recodification from Mike Schietzelt here.