Download Overcriminalization: The Limits of the Criminal Law by Douglas Husak PDF

By Douglas Husak

The U.S. this day suffers from an excessive amount of felony legislations and an excessive amount of punishment. Husak describes the phenomena in a few aspect and explores their relation, and why those tendencies produce substantial injustice. His basic aim is to shield a suite of constraints that restrict the authority of states to enact and implement penal offenses. The e-book urges the burden and relevance of this subject within the genuine global, and notes that almost all Anglo-American criminal philosophers have ignored it. Husak's secondary objective is to situate this activity in felony concept as generally construed. He argues that a number of the assets to minimize the scale and scope of the felony legislation might be derived from in the felony legislations itself-even even though those assets haven't been used explicitly for this objective. extra constraints emerge from a political view in regards to the stipulations below which vital rights akin to definitely the right implicated via punishment-may be infringed. whilst conjoined, those constraints produce what Husak calls a minimalist concept of legal legal responsibility. Husak applies those constraints to a handful of examples-most particularly, to the justifiability of drug proscriptions.

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Extra info for Overcriminalization: The Limits of the Criminal Law

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A theory of criminalization is needed to help us take a principled approach to both of these controversial and emotionally charged issues. II: HOW MORE CRIMES PRODUCE INJUSTICE Few knowledgeable persons contest the existence of the two trends I have described. 68 What is more difficult to discern, however, is the exact connection between these two developments. Intuitively, the relation seems apparent. As new crimes are enacted, more and more conduct becomes subject to criminal liability. Persons are sentenced for behavior that had been legally permissible at an earlier time.

97. See Mark Osler: “This Changes Everything: A Call for a Directive, Goal-Oriented Principle to Guide the Exercise of Discretion by Federal Prosecutors,” 39 Valparaiso Law Review 625 (2005). 22 Overcriminalization realities of the penal process. 102 When defendants enter guilty pleas, no rule or doctrine can compensate for injustice in the substantive criminal law. 103 Prosecutors have a variety of means to persuade defendants to plead guilty, and increased criminalization provides them with one of their most powerful weapons.

Crimes in the core are those that share whatever features are important from the standpoint of justice. Virtually all commentators attach enormous normative significance to the requirement of mens rea, for example. Statutes that dispense with mens rea by imposing strict liability should be placed on the periphery, even if they have an impressive historical pedigree and come to outnumber those that require culpability for each material element. Crimes outside the core, then—the “everything else” to which Stuntz refers—are those that are suspect normatively because they lack the features or characteristics that most theorists regard as crucial if impositions of criminal liability are to satisfy our principles of justice.

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