Criminal Justice

Criminalizing America – Cultivating a Felon

Hear the story of George Norris, a 67-year old hobbyist, was convicted and sent to prison for failure to comply with obscure laws involving his small business – selling orchids from his backyard.

George Norris, a 67-year old hobbyist, developed a small business selling imported orchids out of his backyard greenhouse. Norris did his best to make sure he was in compliance with laws and regulations regarding his hobby. That’s why he was surprised to come home one day to find his house being raided by armed federal agents. After spending his life savings and borrowing what he could to pay legal fees, Norris was forced to plead guilty and sentenced with 17 months in prison and two years of probation for seven charges, five of which pertained to a document he had never seen before.

This is the first in a series of stories highlighting how the problem of overcriminalization affects American individuals and businesses.


In Depth: Criminal Justice

The American Legislative Exchange Council is proud to be a leader on criminal justice reform. For over a decade, the ALEC task force on criminal justice has brought state legislators and stakeholders together for the purpose of driving sound criminal justice policies. ALEC members focus on new and innovative state …

+ Criminal Justice In Depth