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Articles 1 - 7 of 7

Full-Text Articles in Legal History

What Is Criminal Law About?, Guyora Binder, Robert Weisberg Jan 2015

What Is Criminal Law About?, Guyora Binder, Robert Weisberg

Journal Articles

In a recent critique, Jens Ohlin faults contemporary criminal law textbooks for emphasizing philosophy, history and social science at the expense of doctrinal training. In this response, we argue that the political importance of criminal law justifies including reflection about the justice of punishment in the professional education of lawyers. First, we argue that both understanding and evaluating criminal law doctrine requires consideration of political philosophy, legal history, and empirical research. Second, we argue that the indeterminacy of criminal law doctrine on some fundamental questions means that criminal lawyers often cannot avoid invoking normative theory in fashioning legal arguments. Finally ...


The Alien Tort Statute And The Law Of Nations, Bradford R. Clark, Anthony J. Bellia Jan 2011

The Alien Tort Statute And The Law Of Nations, Bradford R. Clark, Anthony J. Bellia

Journal Articles

Courts and scholars have struggled to identify the original meaning of the Alien Tort Statute (ATS). As enacted in 1789, the ATS provided "[t]hat the district courts...shall...have cognizance...of all causes where an alien sues for tort only in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States." The statute was rarely invoked for almost two centuries. In the 1980s, lower federal courts began reading the statute expansively to allow foreign citizens to sue other foreign citizens for all violations of modern customary international law that occurred outside the United States. In 2004 ...


Revisiting 'Dreyfus': A More Complete Account Of A Trial By Mathematics, David H. Kaye Jan 2007

Revisiting 'Dreyfus': A More Complete Account Of A Trial By Mathematics, David H. Kaye

Journal Articles

Legal literature and case law depicts the infamous conviction of Alfred Dreyfus for treason and espionage in 1899 as a prime example of the irresistible power of even grossly fallacious mathematical demonstrations to overwhelm a legal tribunal. This essay shows that Dreyfus is not a case of mathematics run amok, unchecked and uncomprehended. To the contrary, the defects in the mathematical proof were dramatically exposed, and this evidence did not lead Dreyfus's judges to condemn him. This history undercuts the reliance of modern courts and commentators on Dreyfus as an indication or illustration of the alleged dangers of probability ...


The Origins Of American Felony Murder Rules, Guyora Binder Jan 2004

The Origins Of American Felony Murder Rules, Guyora Binder

Journal Articles

Contemporary commentators continue to instruct lawyers and law students that England bequeathed America a sweeping default principle of strict liability for all deaths caused in all felonies. This Article exposes the harsh "common law" felony murder rule as a myth. It retraces the origins of American felony murder rules to reveal their modern, American, and legislative sources, the rationality of their original scope, and the fairness of their original application. It demonstrates that the draconian doctrine of strict liability for all deaths resulting from all felonies was never enacted into English law or received into American law. This Article reviews ...


Justice Blackmun's Mark On Criminal Law And Procedure, Kit Kinports Jan 1999

Justice Blackmun's Mark On Criminal Law And Procedure, Kit Kinports

Journal Articles

When Justice Blackmun was nominated to the Court in 1970, Americans were consumed with the idea of crime control. In the 1968 presidential campaign, Richard Nixon had called the Supreme Court "soft on crime" and had promised to "put 'law and order' judges on the Court." While sitting on the Eighth Circuit, the Justice had "seldom struck down searches, seizures, arrests or confessions," and most of his opinions in criminal cases had "affirmed guilty verdicts and sentences." Thus, according to one commentator, Justice Blackmun seemed to be "exactly what Nixon was looking for: a judge who believed in judicial restraint ...


Comments On The History Of Plea Bargaining, Lynn M. Mather Jan 1979

Comments On The History Of Plea Bargaining, Lynn M. Mather

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


Proposed Legislation For Enforcement Of Prohibition, Thomas Frank Konop Jan 1930

Proposed Legislation For Enforcement Of Prohibition, Thomas Frank Konop

Journal Articles

Under date of November 21st, 1929, the Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement made a preliminary report to the President on observance and enforcement of prohibition. Under subdivision (D) of that report, the Commission offered three methods to relieve the congestion in the Federal Courts. Although the bills are constitutional, they will not relieve congestion. Instead, the will promote fraud and lower citizens' respect for the Federal Judiciary and the Constitution.