Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

All Faculty Scholarship

Criminal code

2001

Articles 1 - 1 of 1

Full-Text Articles in Law

The Ex Ante Function Of The Criminal Law, Paul H. Robinson, John M. Darley, Kevin M. Carlsmith Jun 2001

The Ex Ante Function Of The Criminal Law, Paul H. Robinson, John M. Darley, Kevin M. Carlsmith

All Faculty Scholarship

Criminal legal codes draw clear lines between permissible and illegal conduct, and the criminal justice system counts on people knowing these lines and governing their conduct accordingly. This is the "ex ante" function of the law; lines are drawn, and because citizens fear punishments or believe in the moral validity of the legal codes they do not cross these lines. But do people in fact know the lines that legal codes draw? The fact that several states have adopted laws that deviate from other state laws enables a field experiment to address this question. Residents (N = 203) of states …