Three Felonies a Day: Excerpts

Boston Herald



The story of former Boston Mayor Kevin White and his political ally Theodore Anzalone, a segment from the first chapter of Three Felonies a Day, was featured in the October 18 edition of the Boston Herald. The excerpt chronicles federal prosecutors’ crusade to unseat Mayor White in the early 1980s. The prosecutorial techniques used – pressuring lower-level administration officials to “flip” against their superiors and to provide testimony that (no surprise!) turned out to be false, along with “creative” use of a criminal statute to encompass conduct not clearly covered by it – offer a glimpse at the pernicious developments described in Three Felonies a Day. And the saga sheds new light on current Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s title as longest-serving mayor in Boston history.

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NACDL Champion


An excerpt from Three Felonies a Day is the lead item in the September/October 2009 issue of The Champion, the journal of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). 

The excerpt, titled “The Decline and Fall of Mens Rea,” chronicles how modern criminal law has abandoned the ancient requirement of criminal intent as a necessary component for an act to be considered criminal. As Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson wrote in the landmark 1952 case of
Morissette v. United States, a criminal act requires “an evil-meaning mind with an evil-doing hand.”

The trend away from these requirements, combined with an ever-expanding federal criminal code that fails to provide citizens with clarity of their legal obligations, has given rise to the phenomenon described in TFD: the average working professional commits three arguable felonies each day.


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