Overcriminalization has thus left us in a peculiar place: Though people suspected of a crime have extensive due process rights in dealing with the police, and people charged with a crime have even more extensive due process rights in court, the actual decision whether or not to charge a person with a crime is almost completely unconstrained. Yet, because of overcharging and plea bargains, that decision is probably the single most important event in the chain of criminal procedure.
In short: Federal criminal law is beyond the understanding of laymen. If that is so, it seems to me, the body of federal criminal law is itself a due process violation since laymen are required — on pain of imprisonment — to comply with a body of law that is, according to an eminent federal judge, too complex for them to understand.
Perhaps defendants should be allowed to place the statute and regulations before the jury and be acquitted if the jury finds that an ordinary person would not have believed they were committing a crime.
And, ensure that lawmakers live by the laws they write as well.