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Criminal liability

2012

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Attempts, In Language And In Law, Mitchell N. Berman Jan 2012

Attempts, In Language And In Law, Mitchell N. Berman

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On what grounds does the law punish attempted offenses? The dominant answer is that the law punishes attempts to commit an offense precisely because they are attempts (extra-legally), and it is true as a general moral principle that if one should not X, one should not attempt to X. If this is right, then the proper contours of the law of attempts should track the contours of what are attempts (extra-legally). At least to a first approximation, that is, law should track metaphysics. Call this the “Attempt Theory” of attempt liability. Gideon Yaffe’s recent book, "Attempts," is a rigorous and …