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The White House. (Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi) The White House. (Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM)

In the final days of his presidency, President Donald Trump signed an executive order entitled “Protecting Americans From Overcriminalization Through Regulatory Reform.” While President Joe Biden has reversed a number of Trump’s executive orders, this is one he should keep. It is an important step in ensuring that criminal laws—specifically those buried in the countless thousands of federal criminal regulations—are clear and that prosecutors focus their tremendous power on enforcing those laws against people who actually intended to do something wrong or illegal.

Prosecuting and imprisoning a person is the greatest power the state routinely exercises over its citizens. In the United States, this power is severely overused. The United States is the most incarcerated country in the world, both in the absolute and per capita numbers of imprisoned individuals.

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